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March 20, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXIV(12):992-995. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.25710380001014



Hypnotics  Small doses of the hypnotics depress the psychic and some other centers in the great brain, while exerting little influence on other parts of the central nervous system. Larger doses should be avoided in therapeutics because they depress the vasomotor and the respiratory centers.We have no theory based on observed facts which is capable of explaining the chemical causes of sleep, but it seems probable that sleep is induced by certain products of metabolism which accumulate during waking. If we could determine just what these substances are and prepare them in a form suitable for therapeutic use we should probably have an ideal hypnotic. The claim is often made that the ideal hypnotic has been found, but such claims invariably prove unfounded, and we find that the new preparation has undesirable, and even dangerous, side actions.Every hypnotic tends to require increasing

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