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Editorials |

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Ann Intern Med. 1970;73(6):1037. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-73-6-1037
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Man has a capacity for anxiety that is matched only by the plenitude of reasons for being anxious. As the old Cornish prayer says:

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties

And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us.

Well, lots of people are having trouble sleeping these nights, and it isn't because of ghosts or Santa Claus bumping down the chimney (Figure 1):

Figure 1.(Reproduced by permission from 1967 Saturday Review, Inc.©.)

The "over-all picture" is compounded from the never-ending barrage of bad news relentlessly thrust upon us by systems of instant communication and the unique ability of the human mind to extrapolate the


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