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during the day-time, must not be neglected. It should be located in
a position to admit the sunshine during the morning hours. It is a good
plan to keep in it a number of house plants, as they will help to purify
the air, besides adding to its cheerfulness.
9. If wakeful at night, instead of lying in bed trying to go to sleep,
get up at once, open the bed, air the sheets, remove the night clothing
and walk about the room for a few minutes, rubbing the body briskly
with the bare hand at the same time. A tepid sponge bath, followed by
a vigorous rubbing kept up until really tired, will conduce to sleep
in many cases. Sometimes a change of bed, or pulling the bed to pieces
and arranging it again, is just the thing needed to bring sleep.
10. One of the most effectual panaceas for certain varieties of
sleeplessness is going to bed at peace with all the world, and with
a conscience void of offense toward God as well as man.
Dreams.--This is a subject of much interest to those suffering from
nocturnal pollutions, for these occurrences are almost always
connected with dreams of a lascivious nature.
In perfectly natural sleep, there are no dreams; consciousness is
entirely suspended. In the ordinary stage of dreaming, there is a
peculiar sort of consciousness, many of the faculties of the mind being
more or less active while the power of volition is wholly dormant.
Carpenter describes another stage of consciousness between that of
ordinary dreaming and wakefulness, a condition "in which the dreamer
has a consciousness that he is dreaming, being aware of the
unreliability of the images which present themselves before his mind.
He may even make a voluntary and successful effort to prolong them if
agreeable, or to dissipate them if unpleasing; thus evincing a certain
degree of that directing power, the entire want of which is
characteristic of the true state of dreams."
Can Dreams Be Controlled?--Facts prove that they can be, and to a
remarkable extent. A large share of emissions occur in the state
described by Dr. Carpenter, in which a certain amount of control by
the will is possible. This is the usual condition of the mind during
morning naps; and if a person resolutely determines to combat unchaste
thoughts whenever they come to him, whether asleep or awake, he will
find it possible to control himself not only during this semi-conscious
state, but even during more profound sleep.
The following case, related by an eminent London surgeon,
illustrates what may be done by strong resolution; the patient was an
Italian gentleman of very great respectability.
[Footnote 55: Acton.]
"He had been inconvenienced five years before with frequent emissions,
which totally unnerved him. He determined resolutely that the very
instant the image of a woman or any libidinous idea presented itself
to his imagination, _he would wake_; and to insure his doing so, dwelt
in his thoughts on his resolution for a long time before going to sleep.
The remedy, applied by a vigorous will, had the most happy results.
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