Cause of Sleepiness

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, September 9, 1912:  July, I mean Sept. 9. Don’t know what to write for today. So good night and sweet dreams.

moonlight

Source: Wikipedia

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Seems odd that Grandma first wrote July—she must have already been half asleep when she wrote this.

Maybe Grandma’s mind was “benumbed” by all of her schoolwork.

According to a hundred-year-old book called Personal Hygiene and Physical Training for Women:

The sleepy feeling is caused by fatigue due to the circulation in the blood of toxins resulting from tissue waste, which benumb the brain-cells; while the feeling of freshness and bien-etre with which one awakens in the morning is due to the elimination of the fatigue products from the blood.

The medical authorities of today are pretty well agreed that eight hours of sleep is the minimum required for the maintenance of health, and all concede that the brainworker requires more sleep than the manual laborer.

8 Responses

  1. How very true. We had a storm last night that has dropped the temperature down quite a bit…and the air is still saturated… so I ended waking up after four hours of sleep. All day I will feel sleep deprived. I can’t wait for tonight … cool clear air… I’ll probably want to sleed a dozen hours to make up!

  2. Interesting! Maybe I should try that “eight hours of sleep” approach myself. ;-) Your grandmother did sound tired in that entry…

  3. Mmmm, 8 hours? My husband would fear me dead. I usually only sleep 4 hours a night. But I imagine they worked a lot harder during the day and wear ready for bed. Chances are they didn’t drink as much coffee either.

  4. I’ve been feeling a bit benumbed myself lately! Though these late summer nights with temps in the 50s and very little humidity are making it easier to get a good nights sleep.

    • It is easier to sleep as the temperatures get a little cooler–and they won’t have had air conditioners or electric fans to cool things off on the really hot days back then.

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