The Science of Being Well



Vital power is renewed in sleep. Every living thing sleeps; men,
animals, reptiles, fish, and insects sleep, and even plants have regular
periods of slumber. And this is because it is in sleep that we come into
such contact with the Principle of Life in nature that our own lives may
be renewed. It is in sleep that the brain of man is recharged with vital
energy, and the Principle of Health within him is given new strength. It
is of the first importance, then, that we should sleep in a natural,
normal, and perfectly healthy manner.

Studying sleep, we note that the breathing is much deeper, and more
forcible and rhythmic than in the waking state. Much more air is
inspired when asleep than when awake, and this tells us that the
Principle of Health requires large quantities of some element in the
atmosphere for the process of renewal. If you would surround sleep with
natural conditions, then, the first step is to see that you have an
unlimited supply of fresh and pure air to breathe. Physicians have found
that sleeping in the pure air of out-of-doors is very efficacious in the
treatment of pulmonary troubles; and, taken in connection with the Way
of Living and Thinking prescribed in this book, you will find that it is
just as efficacious in curing every other sort of trouble. Do not take
any half-way measures in this matter of securing pure air while you
sleep. Ventilate your bedroom thoroughly; so thoroughly that it will be
practically the same as sleeping out of doors. Have a door or window
open wide; have one open on each side of the room, if possible. If you
cannot have a good draught of air across the room, pull the head of
your bed close to the open window, so that the air from without may come
fully into your face. No matter how cold or unpleasant the weather, have
a window open, and open wide; and try to get a circulation of pure air
through the room. Pile on the bedclothes, if necessary, to keep you
warm; but have an unlimited supply of fresh air from out of doors. This
is the first great requisite for healthy sleep.

The brain and nerve centers cannot be thoroughly vitalized if you sleep
in "dead" or stagnant air; you must have the living atmosphere, vital
with nature's Principle of Life. I repeat, do not make any compromise in
this matter; ventilate your sleeping room completely, and see that there
is a circulation of outdoor air through it while you sleep. You are not
sleeping in a perfectly healthy way if you shut the doors and windows of
your sleeping room, whether in winter or summer. Have fresh air. If you
are where there is no fresh air, move. If your bedroom cannot be
ventilated, get into another house.

Next in importance is the mental attitude in which you go to sleep. It
is well to sleep intelligently, purposefully, knowing what you do it
for. Lie down thinking that sleep is an infallible vitalizer, and go to
sleep with a confident faith that your strength is to be renewed; that
you will awake full of vitality and health. Put purpose into your sleep
as you do into your eating; give the matter your attention for a few
minutes, as you go to rest. Do not seek your couch with a discouraged or
depressed feeling; go there joyously, to be made whole. Do not forget
the exercise of gratitude in going to sleep; before you close your eyes,
give thanks to God for having shown you the way to perfect health, and
go to sleep with this grateful thought uppermost in your mind. A bedtime
prayer of thanksgiving is a mighty good thing; it puts the Principle of
Health within you into communication with its source, from which it is
to receive new power while you are in the silence of unconsciousness.

You may see that the requirements for perfectly healthy sleep are not
difficult. First, to see that you breathe pure air from out of doors
while you sleep; and, second, to put the Within into touch with the
Living Substance by a few minutes of grateful meditation as you go to
bed. Observe these requirements, go to sleep in a thankful and confident
frame of mind, and all will be well. If you have insomnia, do not let it
worry you. While you lie awake, form your conception of health; meditate
with thankfulness on the abundant life which is yours, breathe, and feel
perfectly confident that you will sleep in due time; and you will.
Insomnia, like every other ailment, must give way before the Principle
of Health aroused to full constructive activity by the course of
thought and action herein described.

The reader will now comprehend that it is not at all burdensome or
disagreeable to perform the voluntary functions of life in a perfectly
healthy way. The perfectly healthy way is the easiest, simplest, most
natural, and most pleasant way. The cultivation of health is not a work
of art, difficulty, or strenuous labor. You have only to lay aside
artificial observances of every kind, and eat, drink, breathe, and sleep
in the most natural and delightful way; and if you do this, thinking
health and only health, you will certainly be well.

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