13. Questions & Answers
Is oversleeping really bad for you? I hear a lot lately that too much sleep can make you sick.
There is no such thing as oversleep. The body will not sleep beyond need. Consciousness returns when need has been met. We can’t control that. However, we can by many devices shorten our sleep and simply refuse to get enough.
Sleep is a restorative agency, not a pathogenic practice, Medical men have said that fresh air is bad for you because it has been proven that city dwellers moving from polluted cities to vacation areas in fresh pure air get sick. Calling oversleeping pathogenic is similar to calling fresh air bad for you.
This attitude comes about because medical opinion regards disease as a war against the body by invading forces such as bacteria or viruses or both. Disease and sickness are not recognized as a body-instituted cleansing and repair process. When the body’s vitality is increased by fresh air or by heightened nerve energy derived from sleep extraordinary to normal, the body uses the opportunity to start a healing crisis.
Rather than regarding sleep as an enemy of well-being, you should regard it as one way in which to more quickly help reestablish physiological normalcy. When in the relaxing and reassuring atmosphere of a fasting institution, many fasters start off by sleeping most of the time, sometimes for up to a week. When their bodies are sufficiently cleansed, they cannot sleep as much as is regarded normal. Note that in the case of heavy sleeping they could do so only because the body needed it to regenerate the increased nerve energy to restore normalcy. When normalcy has been reestablished, they find it impossible to get the amount of sleep they regard as normal. Thus we can see that oversleeping is myth, that the body will not, indeed, conduct the sleep process beyond need.
What’s so great about napping?
I can do no better than quote from the illustrious longtime Hygienic professional, Dr. V. Virginia Vetrano. Here are her observations on the immense value of napping and of getting additional sleep when it is needed.
Napping is extremely important to every individual from birth to 140 years old. Taking a siesta after lunch improves digestion, absorption and assimilation and promotes better health through better nutrition. Taking naps prevents excessive fatigue and promotes better and more efficient work. Resting and napping actually increase our productivity. Taking a ten-minute rest break every hour helps us to get more done in less time. When one is fatigued, mental acuity and physical powers are greatly diminished. Resting, including napping, sharpens the mind and body. By napping and preventing excessive fatigue, we are less nervous and irritable at night and we can fall asleep more quickly. It has been shown that there are fewer marital problems in those people who rest after lunch than in those who must put in long days without an afternoon nap or rest period.
If you go to bed exhausted, the body must first recuperate before it can begin its anabolic processes, cell renovation, cell renewal, healing and repair. A rested person going to bed will be more fully recuperated in the morning. A person going to bed exhausted will wake up only half refreshed, and must face another day without relaxation, so he is never fully revitalized, repaired, or replenished. As a consequence, toxemia and disease ensue.
Learn to nap and learn to rest. Rest during your coffee break and part of your lunch break, instead of stimulating yourself with too much food and beverage. Rest again until refreshed, upon arriving home from work. Teach yourself to work in a relaxed state, free from all tension. You will notice a definite physical and mental improvement when you secure more rest and prevent fatigue.
You’ve said that sleep regenerates nerve energy. My biology book says sleep is for
resting fatigued nerves that have been overwhelmed by toxin accumulation. It also says that the fatigue is caused by the need to restore deranged body chemistry, that is, restore potassium/sodium balances. Do you agree with this?
I became a student of the sleep process in my early days as a Hygienist. I noted that, at first, I was sleeping so much that, even when working, my sleep was sometimes most of the day. Later, after a fast of 12 days I noticed that I was going to bed at a normal hour but waking four to five hours later and unable to sleep further. I tried to find out why and thus steeped myself upon the subject.
I do not regard nerves any more fatiguable than the heart, which is on duty for 24 hours daily. I regard the body as keeping its nervous system in better order than its heart for that is equally vital. Body processes are conducted 24 hours daily and if the nervous system fatigued and “conked out,” this would obviously not be possible. The nerve restores its chemical normalcy after transmitting an electrical impulse in fractions of a second. It does not need eight hours in which to restore normalcy.
Toxin accumulation does not itself cause sleep. It does occasion a greater expenditure of nerve energy. A faster who has thoroughly cleansed his or her body will sleep three to five hours daily. But, as we know, a very toxic individual can drag around and deny needed sleep. Toxin accumulation would not cause sleep anyway but coma as in intoxication by alcohol or other drugs.
The body sleeps when its nerve energy reaches a critically low level. An ordinary battery will stop supplying sufficient spark to operate the auto’s electrical system long before it is dead. Before normalcy is established, the
battery must be recharged. This appears analogous to what occurs in the body!
You will note that I speak in these matters with a note of certainty and finality. After many years of researching the subject and reading all the researches and conclusions, you don’t have to be a genius to see where the truth lies—it becomes as obvious as the nose on your face. It yells at you, quite literally. When you’re following a wrong premise and give it power regardless of facts, you’ll always arrive at a wrong conclusion. I definitely regard your biology book as wrong.
Why don’t we get electrosleep devices if it supplies us with the nerve energy we need?
Russians, Israelis and even Americans have conducted extensive research on electrosleep. The published researches I’ve read have failed to give many specifics, though much can be inferred.
There can be little doubt that those subjected to electricity in millivolt ratings can derive from this source a supply of electricity to use as their own as if it were regenerated under the condition of sleep. Those who have obtained electrosleep seem to have been able to pursue normal activities for 22 hours out of 24. Keep in mind that normal activities drain us of nerve energy and that the extra five or six hours of activity daily uses extra nerve energy. That extra nerve energy, as well as that which is normally expended in a sixteen or seventeen hour day, must be supplied by the electrosleep. Electrosleep seemed to do this for the subjects, since when they were taken off electrosleep, they quickly became eight-hours-per-day sleepers again!
I could find nothing in these researches that would indicate what happens to humans when the routines of their normal circadian rhythm are altered by electrosleep. The question of value of electrosleep must be weighed carefully against any liabilities it might have. More extensive studies into electrosleep must be made and published before its true value can be determined.
Does sexual indulgence really make us sleep more?
Yes, we need more sleep because of sexual activity. There is a great intensity of nerve energy expenditure in the sex act. Under normal circumstances the male will, quite literally, exhaust himself and will often collapse in sleep. The body gets quite a “high” during the sexual climax because it secretes narcotizing endorphins. The overall effect lowers nerve energy to such an extent that the body demands sleep almost immediately to restore the expenditure. Nothing can equal the sex act as a “sleeping potion!” Moreover, the regeneration of sperm in the male requires a great body expenditure of both resources and nerve energy. Those resources are of the finest materials obtainable from the body reserves and cells. The body gives its very best to the reproduction of the species. Nature has placed the survival of the species ahead of individual survival.
Isn’t sex good for you?
Occasional sex indulgence is good for both the psyche and body faculties. Its frequent indulgence will, to put it in lay terms, “burn us out.” Sexual activity draws upon nerve energies the body requires for its most vital activities. If sexual indulgence persists, the familiar syndromes of enervation, toxemia, irritation, inflammation, ulceration, etc. ensue. Prostate cancer can be a result of excessive sexual indulgence in men. So-called general diseases are due to accumulated body toxins as a result of venery.
Sex can be both good and bad for you. Keep in mind hat the conjugal act in animals occurs only when the female is in heat and only for the purpose of procreation. We have a culture that makes sexual activities an end in themselves. This practice may not be harmful if it is not overdone. It is very difficult to pronounce any standards upon these matters.
Doesn’t sleep do the same thing as rest?
While the body rests during sleep it does lot, under the condition of rest only, accomplish what it does under the condition of sleep. Rest enables the body to catch up on its metabolic activities, whereas sleep is primarily for the purpose of nerve regeneration.
I’ve read Better Sleep for a Better Life. It was a revelation for me. Why don’t scientists take note of it, especially its information about sleep being for regenerating nerve energy? I haven’t read any other book that says this.
I have said previously that Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman has formulated the theory that sleep is for the regeneration of nerve energy. He may have found this idea in Hygiene. Dr. Shelton said fifty years earlier that sleep restores nerve energy. Perhaps Dr. Kleitman’s findings were like those of the noted Uri Nicolayev of Russia, who fasted many schizophrenic patients with celebrated results. He was a student of Dr. Shelton’s writings and merely applied them in practice. Insofar as Dr. Kleitman has taken note of the Hygienic position, science has recognized the role of sleep.
I’ve heard it said that dreams should be taken seriously because there is always some deepseated meaning in them. What are your thoughts about this?
Right off I’ll tell you the best thing about dreams is that they don’t come about in reality and have no overtones of significance. The only thing you should take serious about dreams is their role in saving the condition of sleep until it is more or less replete. Dreams are the body’s “lightning rod” that satiates vicariously disturbing impulses that arise in the body. Dreams “ground” the stimulating impulses that would normally prematurely return us to wakefulness.
Is it true that nightmares can be caused as a consequence of atrocious foods or upset stomach ? What causes nightmares?
Nightmares or terrors during sleep can arise from many impulses in the body including those generated by the distresses of a meal that cannot be digested but which gives problems instead. Fitful sleep results from poor body conditions such as in indigestion but also from aches, pains, inflammations and other body pathology. Nightmares may arise from fears that are not allayed during waking hours. Nightmares are nothing more than dreams that the body conducts to preserve sleep.
Do water beds give you the equivalent of an extra hour of sleep as most salesmen for them claim?
If air circulation and warmth are properly met, this statement is true. The water bed enables full body weight to be evenly distributed over the entire underside instead of at a few contact points as on floors and hard beds. This extra comfort disturbs the body less than when there are pressure points as in much conventional bedding. The body can more efficiently conduct the sleeping process due to fewer disturbing factors.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. What Is Rest?
- 3. What Is Sleep?
- 4. What Determines The Quality And Quantity Of Sleep We Need?
- 5. The Value Of Napping
- 6. Dreams And Their Role In Sleep
- 7. Establishing Conditions Most Favorable For Sleep
- 8. Sleep Problems In Adults And Their Solutions
- 9. Sleep Problems In Infants And Children With Suggested Solutions
- 10. Nostrums, Medications And Drugs Adminstered For Sleep Problems
- 11. Our Biological Clock And Sleep
- 12. Improving The IQ Through Sleep
- 13. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: How To Put Yourself To Sleep Easily By A.F. Willat
- Article #2: Rest: A Much-Neglected Health Factor
- Article #3: The Need For Rest By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #4: Rest vs. Stimulation By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton