Dr. West is well aware that the nervous affections resulting in insomnia are exceedingly prevalent among all classes and ages of women. Insomnia is the result of too much blood on the brain. He feels that the principles that should prevail in the treatment of wakefulness may be arranged in two classes.
The first treatment is to soothe the nervous system or distract the attention, diminish the action of the heart and blood vessels or correct irregularities in their function and thus lessen the amount of blood in the brain. Monotonous sounds (like the Mister snoring in my left ear?), soft music, repetition by the individual of a series of words (maybe like quitsnoringinmyearquitsnoringinmyear), gentle friction over the surface of the body (I don't know how this is going to happen. Raoul, the house boy leaves before dinner) undulate movements ( again, Raoul.....), or counting from 500 backwards. There's always counting sheep.
Hey, you got a raisin stuck on your eyeball, lady.
If wakefulness is persistent, the above measures will not be adequate. Improvement of the patients general health is necessary. Suggestions for improved health include:
- A hearty supper of plainly-cooked and nutritious food
- Avoidance of too much food as this augments rather than diminishes the quantity of blood in the brain.
- Avoidance of too little food.
In most cases, sleeplessness in women will only be corrected by a combination of good food and stimulants such as a few glasses of wine, or lager beer with dinner (now we're talking). In some cases, if the woman has languid circulation, wakefulness is speedily and entirely cured by a cup of coffee taken three or 4 nights in succession at bedtime..
Other suggestions include:
- some physical exercise,
- warm bath,
- put feet only in hot water (100 degrees)
- Cold water 32 degrees) applied directly to the scalp. (I'll flatten anyone who tries this one on me)
In severe cases of mental exertion (what would this be - like having to watch two football games and a hockey game on the same day?), all means of the cure will fail unless the brain is used in a rational way. Relaxation and mental rest are required as well as some medicinal treatments ( I think we're finally getting to the good treatments here)
Medications in order of usefulness according to Dr. West
- Bromide of potassium is the most highly recommended (anti seizure med - for dogs and cats)
- Hyoscyamus is a very valuable remedy (mandrake, flea bane, nightshade combo)
- Chloral hydrate is a prime relaxant (This would be a Mickey Finn)
- Opium (opium)
- Morphia (Morphia)
What a quack - he hasn't mentioned the all time favorite of the Victorian lady: Laudanum. And lots of it.
Do I have something stuck between my teeth?