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Dovers Powder Pulvis Ipecacuanhje Et

sleep, dreams, instance, dream, wool, linen, dreaming and consciousness

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DOVER'S POWDER (PULVIS IPECACUANHJE ET OPII).—A compound powder consisting of ten parts of ipecac, ten parts of opium, and eighty parts of potassium sulphate. It is used as a pain-allaying remedy in many non-febrile affections. In dysentery and diarrhoea its action is often very grateful. The dose is from 5 to 15 grains. A warm drink taken after the dose insures more rapid action.

DREAM.—Our mental activities are not suspended during sleep, and the connection between sleeping consciousness and waking consciousness is not entirely interrupted. We usually dream of things that we have busied ourselves with while awake, and our sense perceptions go on to a certain degree. Two characteristics, however, differentiate dreaming states from wakeful states : in the first place, the fantastic transformation of the sense impressions ; and, secondly, the confusion of the course of thought. Free, easy breathing creates in the dreamer an impression of flying ; heavy breathing creates a feeling of fear ; splashing rain becomes a flood ; a fly bite a dagger thrust ; a hot-water bottle, a promenade in the tropics ; the buzzing of a fly, a hurricane ; a gleam of light, paradise and all its angels ; the uncovering of part of the body, a sleigh ride ; etc. The confusion of the course of thought causes the abrupt changes of the dream visions. The picture changes without interruption and without causing any surprise. This incoherency in the train of thought, and the lack of judgment it carries with it, refers also to ideas of time. Dreams which last only a few seconds or minutes may appear to last an eternity.

Whether deep sleep is dreamless, as is claimed, seems doubtful, even improbable. The dreams of light sleep are generally more senseless and disjointed than those of deeper sleep, in which entire dramatic scenes may be reproduced. Movements of the muscles are not a rarity in dreaming states. Generally they are the muscles of speech and of the face (speaking, laughing, and crying during sleep) ; but at times other muscle groups become active, and in such cases the dreamer will get out of bed, walk about, and perform customary tasks. After awakening, there is no remem brance of what has gone before. These cases' are instances of somnam bulism. Many stories are told about these somnambulists. The most wonderful feats are ascribed to them ; for instance, walking along the ridge of the roof of a house. Most of these stories are fictitious, but it cannot be entirely gainsaid that somnambulists at times evince remarkable dexterity. This is explained by the fact that the dreamer's consciousness is limited, and that his attention is directed to such an extent to a given undertaking that the thought of a dangerous position, which would at once arise in the wakeful mind, falls aside. Somnambulism is also called moon-sickness ;

but the moon has very little to do with the condition, excepting that its rays of light, entering the sleeper's room may cause dream impressions in him. Any other light—for instance, a lamp light—has the same effect.

The interpretation of dreams has always played an important role in the history of mankind ; particularly the interpretation of such dreams as presage sickness or death. Superstition has had full sway in this domain, but there is nevertheless some truth in the popular notion. Sometimes certain physical disturbances are felt while dreaming which have not been noticed while awake. For instance, a hitherto unnoticed disturbance of circulation in the leg may appear in a dream to be an inflammation, this latter condition actually occurring a few days later. However, it is wise to be cautious about such prophecies ; and even more so regarding dreams premonitory of coming misfortune, etc. Chance and a fallacious memory may be important factors.

DRESS.—The principal object of dress is to provide the body with a necessary amount of heat. Although this object of dress has ever been the most essential and the original one, it is scarcely possible at the present time to separate the question of utility from that of adornment ; and it is only too often the case that usefulness is made subservient to the dictates of fashion. Changes of the weather, especially those of temperature, compel us to direct our attention to a rational mode of dressing, thus to assist the heat-regulating activity of the skin. With respect to this it is true that great differences exist in different individuals. Some people, for instance, may feel comfortable in clothes which others could not wear without danger of catching cold. The elementary materials of our dress are derived from the animal kingdom (wool, silk) or from the vegetable kingdom (linen, cotton). These can be distinguished readily by the eye alone. The simplest method to distinguish between wool and silk on one hand, and linen and cotton on the other, is by the test of burning. Wool and silk, when ignited, smell like burnt horn ; linen and cotton more like burnt paper. With the aid of a microscope and of certain chemical expedients, it is easy to distinguish the chief textile fabrics.

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