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June 16, 1928


JAMA. 1928;90(24):1946-1947. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02690510030013

Sleeplessness is a perennial problem in the professional routine of the physician, frequently and persistently demanding relief. Nevertheless, the physiologic basis of sleep remains unsolved. The familiar fact that there are alternating periods of rest and activity and the implication that sleep represents a period of comparative rest or inactivity offer little aid in the practical management of insomnia. Hence Kleitman5 well remarked a few years ago that most investigators of the physiology of sleep, in reporting their observations, remind their readers, by way of apology, of the tremendous importance of the subject for the advancement of our knowledge of physiology as a science, as well as for the rational treatment of insomnia. They like also to record the fact that the average person spends more than a third of his life in sleep and has been doing this from time immemorial, and they raise the question whether eight

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