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Porridge and muscular relaxation: doctors discuss ways to get sound sleep – archive, 7 July 1954

7 July 1954 Staying awake and complaining about it has become one of the more prevalent hobbies of the British

Glasgow, TuesdayAfter their business meeting, when for the most part they discussed how to make money by day, the doctors at the BMA meeting turned their thoughts to the problems of the night in the first of their scientific sessions here to-day. Their subject was sleep, but in this, the main problem appeared not to be that of sleep itself, but of how to get to sleep.

Rapidly it became obvious that staying awake and complaining about it was one of the more prevalent hobbies of the British. Insomnia, said Dr JO McDonagh, of Perth, was now “almost a fashionable disease or state.” And Professor DM Dunlop (Edinburgh) added that 10 per cent of all drugs now prescribed were barbiturates.

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