31 JANUARY 1947, Page 16


Sim,—The remarks on insomnia by Janus do perpetuate a fallacy shared by many—medicos included—that that affliction is much more distressing that in point of fact it is. Physically, insomnia causes no harm at all. The body as such needs rest, but it is immaterial whether the rest is taken awake or asleep. Mentally, insomnia causes no deterioration, but it does arrest development and suspends the ability to evolve and absorb new ideas. It is clear from this that insomnia in the case of an adolescent is a serious matter, in the forties undesirable and from sixty onwards hardly matters at all. I have read of and known persOnally

cases of ten and twenty years' total insomnia which have borne out the foregoing statement. The ill-effects of insomnia always are due to worry at not sleeping and not to the insomnia itself. I write this in the hope that it may rob insomnia of its terrors for any " sufferers" who may chance to read it.—Yours faithfully, H. G. READ. The Pharmacy, Henfield, Sussex.