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September 1, 1906


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(9):652-655. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210090008002a

In the popular mind there must be some mistakes about sleep, so variant and dissimilar are the views as to the need of sleep, the effects of it, and of the lack of it.

One man is sure that for health and strength he needs only four or five hours of sleep out of each day of twenty-four hours, and he quotes numerous people above childhood who have like views and experiences. Another must have eight or nine hours and cannot do with less, and, as all men tend to measure others by the yardstick that fits themselves, he is sure to believe that no one should have less than one-third of his existence spent in sleep.

The medical profession freely teaches this latter view and insists that children especially must have an abundance of sleep or be in peril of nervous and mental bankruptcy. We are told that infants

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