How to avoid nightmares

Great attention is to be paid to regularity and choice of diet. Intemperance of every kind is hurtful, but nothing is more productive of this disease than drinking bad wine. Of eatables those which are most prejudicial are all fat and greasy meats and pastry. These ought to be avoided, or eaten with caution. The same may be said of salt meats, for which dyspeptic patients have frequently a remarkable predilection, but which are not on that account the less unsuitable.

Moderate exercise contributes in a superior degree to promote the digestion of food and prevent flatulence; those, however, who are necessarily confined to a sedentary occupation, should particularly avoid applying themselves to study or bodily labor immediately after eating. If a strong propensity to sleep should occur after dinner, it will be certainly bettor to indulge it a little, as the process of digestion frequently goes on much better during sleep than when awake.

Going to bed before the usual hour is a frequent cause of night-mare, as it either occasions the patient to sleep too long or to lie long awake in the night. Passing a whole night or part of a night without rest likewise gives birth to the disease, as it occasions the patient, on the succeeding night, to sleep too soundly. Indulging in sleep too late in the morning, is an almost certain method to bring on the paroxysm, and the more frequently it returns, the greater strength it acquires; the propensity to sleep at this time is almost irresistible. Those who are habitually subject to attacks of the night-mare ought never to sleep alone, but should have some person near them, so as to be immediately awakened by their groans and struggles, and the person to whom this office may be entrusted should be instructed to rouse the patient as early as possible, that the paroxysm may not have time to gain strength.

Return to The Household Cyclopedia of General Information