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Eisler, M.J. (1922). Pleasure in Sleep and Disturbed Capacity for Sleep—A Contribution to the Study of the Oral Phase of the Development of the Libido. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:30-42.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:30-42

Pleasure in Sleep and Disturbed Capacity for Sleep—A Contribution to the Study of the Oral Phase of the Development of the Libido

Michael Josef Eisler

Science has so far treated the biological phenomenon of sleep descriptively, but it is unable to explain it satisfactorily as a dynamic process. Our assured knowledge regarding sleep is very deficient. We recognise it as a fundamental phenomenon in the organic world, which, like breathing and taking nourishment, aids in the periodic recuperation of the individual. We do not know the exact nature of this recuperation, at any rate not with the same accuracy as with the processes of respiration and digestion. The peculiar association of the state of sleep with certain mental phenomena has rendered its understanding more difficult, and has made problematical that experimental investigation to which we primarily owe most of our real knowledge. Biologists have formed the opinion, which appears to us quite reasonable, that a general significance is to be attached to sleep almost in the same way as to the concept 'life', and therefore its problem does not directly concern physiology. Nevertheless, when it has to be discussed there are evident signs of discomfort. There is no doubt that a hidden and unconfessed perplexity is felt regarding the problem of sleep.

Psycho-analytic investigation has not avoided this question; but what it has to say about it does not fall into line with its other results without some explanation.

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