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HOME > Science Fiction > The psychology of sleep > CHAPTER X “LIGHT” SLEEPERS
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 He sleeps well who knows not that he sleeps ill. Publius Syrus ( b.c.).
Someone may say that such things as of the mind are simple causes of wakefulness, and so easily overcome that it is hardly necessary to consider them; yet, simple as they are, they frequently make the wakeful one impatient. The more complex causes are really as easily dealt with as these simple ones, when once we have learned to control the mind. Take, for instance, the complaining “light sleeper” who cannot sleep if anybody else makes a noise, or if anything out of the ordinary occurs. He is in a steady state of lest something will happen to disturb his rest; and generally something does happen. A baby cries, a dog barks, a heavily-laden team by, an , a locomotive , or a steamer whistles, and sleep him for the night.
He pronounces on the offending cause; he pities himself for his sensitiveness,48 at the same time that he almost despises his fellows who are so “dead and unresponsive that they can sleep through such a racket” he suffers at the thought that he may get no more sleep, yet he enjoys the of rehearsing to a sympathizing audience in the morning the tortures of such a delicate organization as his. This sort of is made up of so many contributing causes that it is difficult for any but the most honest man to decide what makes him so to noise. But it is true that some of these causes are due to fear, to training, and, most of all, to self-interest.
It is always difficult to make the super-sensitive person realize that his suffering is due chiefly to self-consideration and a desire to control others. It is an recognition of one’s own claim upon the very circumstances of life that makes one offer so many surfaces which may be “hurt.” We may be disturbed in our sleep by the ordinary pursuits of our fellows because we have an exaggerated idea of the importance of certain conditions that appeal to us and make for our comfort. We wish to sleep at a certain time, and we should like to regulate all our neighbors so that they, too, should suspend all activities at that same time. We ourselves to quiet; and then insist that we cannot do without it.
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