In 1844, he became director of the Leipzig Heilanstalt (sanatorium). His publications predominantly dealt with the subject of children"s health and the social consequences of urbanization at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Die Eigenthümlichkeiten des kindlichen Organismus im gesunden und kranken Zustande (1839), literally: "Peculiarities of the child"s organism in health and illness"
Der Hausfreund als Erzieher und Führer zu Familienglück und Menschenveredelung (1861), "The friend of the family as an educator and leader to family happiness and human refinement"
Die ärztliche Zimmergymnastik (1855), "Medical indoor gymnastics", his best selling piece of work
Schreber advocated both his "systematic remedial exercises" and countryside exercise for urban youth.
During his time, the term Volksgesundheit (people"s health) was coined.
Back then, it comprised the idea of a "healthy relief of excessive energy", as Schreber rigidly opposed masturbation and even experimented with mechanical devices to prevent it in adolescents (see below). Due to the limited success of these methods, he demanded playgrounds out of town, as free space for children to move about was too limited in urban mansions.
In 1864, Leipzig school principal Ernst Innozenz Hauschild established the first Schrebergarten, by leasing land for the physical exercise of children. The notes were later analysed by Sigmund Freud on the theoretical basis of psychoanalysis.
Two other children of Schreber also suffered from mental disease.
According to Alice Miller, Schreber was a foremost figure of what she called poisonous pedagogy, in a translation of Katharina Rutschky"s term Schwarze Pädagogik (literally: black pedagogy). Miller analysed the social impact of this rigid attitude towards child rearing and pedagogy. Miller wrote in this context: "The father of the paranoid patient Schreber whom Freud described, had written several educational books, which were so successful in Germany that some of them were reprinted forty times and translated into several languages."
The influence of this pedagogy on Daniel Paul Schreber has also been analyzed by Morton Schatzman (Soul Murder: Persecution in the Family (), 1974) and other authors.