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The first case of insomnia with which I had to deal, my own case, taught me the utter uselessness of depending solely upon hypnotics for the relief of this condition; and subsequent cases treated successfully by food, baths and exercise have shown that hypnotics are not only not to be depended upon, but that in many cases they are not required at all, and do more harm than good. I do not wish, however, to be understood as advocating the disuse of hypnotics in all cases of insomnia; my remarks must be taken to apply only, so far as my experience goes, to febrile insomnia, or the insomnia of convalescence from acute diseases, to the condition of sleeplessness arising from long hours of mental activity or excitement, and to insomnia from exhaustion. The two last may often be classed together.
In febrile insomnia there is a greater or less degree