Irreverent Skeptics Podcast Episode 5 – Pajama Party


What is sleep? – From

“We all have at least a vague notion of what sleep is, but that doesn’t mean that defining this mysterious part of our lives is simple. After all, detailed analysis of our own sleep isn’t really an option, given that we rarely know that we’re sleeping when we’re asleep. And even if we observe the sleep of others, so much of what they experience—changes in the functions of their brains and bodies—is not easily seen from the outside.”

Sleep is characterized by changes in brain wave activity, breathing, heart rate, body and temperature. Other characterizations of sleep include:

  • reduced physical activity

  • typically associated with lying down and closed eyes

  • sleep results in a decrease to external stimuli

  • sleep is a state that is – generally – relatively easy to reverse. This distinguishes sleep from other states of reduced consciousness such as hibernation and coma.


Myths / Facts about sleep:

  1. Snoring is a common problem, especially among men, but isn’t harmful.

  • Although harmless for most people, snoring can be a symptom of a life threatening sleep   disorder called sleep apnea, especially if accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness. Snoring on a frequent or regular basis has been directly associated with hypertension. Obesity and a large neck can contribute to sleep apnea.

  1. You can “cheat” on the amount of sleep you get.

  • Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night for optimum performance, health and safety. Lack of adequate sleep can accumulate a sleep deficit that can be difficult to “pay back” and can contribute to health problems, mood / behavioral problems, decreased productivity, and less enjoyable sexy time. :-[

  1. Turning up the radio, opening a window, or turning on the a/c are effective ways to combat sleepiness while driving.

  • These are ineffective methods and the best thing you can do is pull over to a safe rest area and take a nap. Caffeinated beverages will give a temporary boost to alertness, but there is about a 30 minute gap from time of ingestion to effect.

  1. Daytime sleepiness means a person isn’t getting enough sleep.

  • While it “can” result from lack of good sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition such as Sleep Apnea or Narcolepsy.

  1. The older you get, the fewer hours of sleep you need.

  • Sleep experts recommend a range of 7-9 hours of sleep for the average adult. As we age we tend to wake more frequently during the night which is likely a cause for more frequent naps in older adults.

  1. During sleep the brain rests.

  • Your body rests during sleep, but your brain remains quite active, gets “recharged”, and still controls many body functions including breathing.

  1. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it is best to lie in bed, count sheep, or toss and turn until you eventually fall back asleep.

  • Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep is potentially a symptom of insomnia. Relaxing imagery or thoughts may be more effective than counting, which some researchers suggest could be more distracting than relaxing. Most experts agree that if you can’t return to sleep after 15-20 minutes, you should get out of bed, go to another room and engage in a relaxing activity until drowsy again.


Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a variety of practices and habits that can help anyone maximize the hours they spend sleeping, even those whose sleep is affected by insomnia, jet lag, or shift work.

Twelve Tips for better sleep hygiene.

  1. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep.

  2. Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment.

  3. Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine.

  4. Go to sleep when you’re truly tired.

  5. Don’t be a nighttime clock-watcher

  6. Use light to your advantage.

  7. Keep your internal clock set with a consistent sleep schedule.

  8. Nap early – or not at all.

  9. Lighten up on evening meals.

  10. Balance fluid intake.

  11. Exercise early.

  12. Follow through.


Take a moment to talk about personal experience with sleep hygiene.



  • Non-Rapid Eye Movement Parasomnias

    • Confusional arousals – a condition when an individual awakens from sleep and remains in a confused state. It is characterized by the individual’s partial awakening and sitting up to look around. They usually remain in bed and then return to sleep. The episodes last anywhere from seconds to minutes and may not be reactive to stimuli.

    • Exploding Head Syndrome – a form of hypnagogic auditory hallucination that is rare and relatively undocumented. The individual experiences a loud crash or bang in their head similar to a bomb exploding, a gun going off, a crash of cymbals, or any other form of loud and indecipherable noise that seems to originate from inside the head.

    • Teeth Grinding – also known as Bruxism. A common sleep disorder where an individual grinds their teeth during sleep. This can cause sleep disruption for the individual and/or the individual’s partner. Also it causes long-term serious tooth damage. A mouth guard is often used to combat Bruxism.

    • Sleep Terrors – the most disruptive arousal disorder since it may involve loud screams and panic.

    • Sleepwalking – aka Somnambulism has a prevalence of 1-17% in childhood, with the most frequent occurrences around the age of 11-12. About 4% of adults experience somnambulism. Anxiety, fatigue, alcohol, sedatives (helloooo Ambien), medications, medical and mental disorders are commonly associated with sleepwalking.

    • Sleep Sex!!! – known as Sexsomnia, is a condition in which a person will engage in sexual acts while still asleep. … I would imagine this would be rather bizarre for someone with a balloon and cake fetish. (is this a real thing or another legally invented disorder like ‘affluenza’?)

    • Sleep-Related Eating Disorder – a condition in which individuals eat during sleep. They will generally enter the kitchen and indulge in uncooked foods, snacks and sometimes even toxic substances. Like maybe that fruitcake your Aunt Gladis sent you two years ago that you can’t seem to ever throw away and it never seems to spoil.

  • Rapid Eye Movement Parasomnias

    • REM sleep behavior disorder is the most common REM sleep parasomnia in which atonia – or lack of muscle strength – is absent. This allows the individual to act out their dreams and may result in repeated injury – bruises, lacerations, and fractures – to themselves or others. (maybe read typical clinical features of REM sleep behavior disorder)

    • Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis – an inability to perform movements at sleep onset, or upon waking from sleep.

    • Catathrenia – a rapid-eye-movement sleep parasomnia consisting of breath holding and expiratory groaning during sleep. It is distinct from both somniloquy () and obstructive sleep apnea. The sound is produced during exhalation as opposed to snoring which occurs during inhalation. Bed partners generally report hearing the person take a deep breath, hold it, then slowly exhale; often with a high-pitched squeak or groaning sound.


Sleep Disorders

  • Insomnia

    • from “Insomnia, which is Latin for “no sleep,” is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Insomnia is also used to describe the condition of waking up not feeling restored or refreshed.”

    • Symptoms include:

      • difficulty falling asleep

      • waking up frequently during the night

      • difficulty returning to sleep

      • waking up too early in the morning

      • unrefreshing sleep

      • daytime sleepiness

      • difficulty concentrating

      • irritability

    • Common medications that can lead to insomnia include:

      • cold & allergy

      • high blood pressure

      • heart disease

      • thyroid disease

      • birth control

      • asthma

      • pain medications

      • antidepressants (especially SSRI antidepressants)

  • Narcolepsy

    • From the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (take a deep breath) “Narcolepsy is a chronic brain disorder that involves poor control of sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy experience periods of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time.  These “sleep attacks” usually last a few seconds to several minutes.”

    • Narcolepsy affects males and females equally.

    • It’s a life-long condition.

    • It’s not rare, but it’s often unrecognized and undiagnosed.

    • Symptoms include:

      • Excessive daytime sleepiness

      • Cataplexy

      • Sleep paralysis

      • Hallucinations

      • Disrupted nocturnal sleep

      • Obesity

    • Narcolepsy is still currently incurable, but some of the symptoms can be treated with medications and lifestyle changes.

“WUT” Segment


  • Homicidal Sleepwalking –Wikipedia – Homocidal Sleepwalking (I would argue that homicidal sleepwalking is more disruptive than screaming)

  • Jenny Mccarthy “Son never had autism?

  • Got Brains??!! WUT! EBAY

  • PIV always rape!

    • jesus fucking christ. commit her plz. – MM


  • Swanson: Wombs of Women on Birth Control ‘Embedded’ with ‘Dead Babies’

    • Generations Radio host Kevin Swanson: “I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.”

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