Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 18, 1976 · Page 91
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July 18, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 91

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 18, 1976
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Page 91
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Com medians featured in International Water Follies, Perspectives W. Va. Vnivenity Insomniacs, Relax! Help is on the Way By Sara Lawson All the major diseases have their foundations or fund-raising organizations. All but mine. How have we overlooked a National Institute for the Prevention and Cure of Insomnia? It may not be fatal, but insomnia afflicts half the adult American population at some time. And that is a pre-Watergate figure. Insomniacs are usually of high intelligence. It stands to reason that if they weren't so active in the brain department they wouldn't be thinking themselves into the widea- wakes while the unthinking half of the population blissfully snores. It's a lucky insomniac who finds himself in a job where his afflictions is an advantage. But not all of us can work for Henry Kissinger or the Ralph Nader organization. Dr. Kissinger, who no doubt sets the pace for his aides, reportedly sleeps four hours a night while on his peace-making missions. And Nader, the non-stop crusader for consumers, is said to consider it "almost frivolous" for one of his raiders to require six or seven hours of beddy-bye out of 24. In my experience there are two kinds of insomnia: one strikes at bedtime while the other grabs me after a few hours of sleep, holding on until an hour before getting-up time. Neither is any fun. The best weapon I have come up with to fight the battle of sleeplessness is to use.that chunk of extra time to accomplish something I plan to do the next day--like writing a memo, painting furniture, balancing my check book. Or, even better, doing something I am always meaning to do when I have time. Too often the latter category includes things like learning to ski or visiting shut-ins, pursuits not feasible for pre-dawn hours. Every insomniac has his repertoire of remedies to pass on to a fellow sufferer who may find them no more successful than the adviser did. Some common ones are: playing soothing music on a record player, reading a dull book, having an intoxicating drink, having a warm milk drink, taking exercises, writing a letter with no intention of mailing it, using self-hypnosis by telling your self your body is going · to sleep, starting with the feet and working upward. The- widespread use of sleeping pills for the occasional attack of insomnia has been proved disastrous too often for consideration. You may notice the omission of one remedy many consider a sure cure: sex. If y o u ' r e always equipped for this solution you're probably not a candidate for my proposed organization, so happy nights and lotsa luck! There are times when nothing available works for me (I get wide- eyed just thinking about them) and all I can do is worry about ho " lousy I'll look and feel the next day. Recently I found a book at the public library titled Morpheui and Me, by Phyllis I. Rosenteur, which I hoped would have a magic formula that would forever end my sleeplessness. But the first time I picked . it up (at 2 a. m:) and read the chapters "Enter Insomnia" and "Exit Insomnia," I was still wide awake at seven a m. So I am ready--and possibly the world is--for a movement of some sort to offer hope to us who have too long been snubbed by Mor- pheus. * NIPCI (National Institute for the Prevention and Cure of Insomnia) could name a glamourous sleepyhead like Perry Como as chairman. Its research could start with owls and work up to human insomniacs who would be rewarded for their services with waterbeds. When a sure cure to the ailment is found, the reformed would receive a pendant to be worn to bed--a small foam rubber replica of NIPCI's patron saint, Rip Van Winkle. Little Gray Man Little Gray Man are you a shadow of a dream I once had or are you as real as the wind and the rain Are your eyes drawn tight ._ with sadness is your face yet scarred with tears or are you nothing more than a blending of my senses turned gray in the shadow of the trees Oh, little gray man don't run! You must be tired your shabby gray coat so worn and old must yearn to rest to hang upon the rack and watch you through its blue-gray patches Come, give me your hand I will give you warmth from the cold and kindness to temper the bitter world For you are real, little gray man See -- you are coming with me! * Sandy Fulkenon State Magazine. July 18. 1976 CHARLESTON. W.VA. 23m

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