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  • Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

  • Rob: And I'm Rob.

  • Neil: You look tired, Rob.

  • Rob: Well,

  • I didn't sleep well last night.

  • I was tossing and turning all night,

  • but I couldn't get to sleep.

  • Neil: Well, that's a coincidence, as our topic

  • today is insomnia

  • - the condition some people suffer from when they find

  • it difficult to get to sleep when they go to bed.

  • Rob: Thankfully I don't really have insomnia,

  • but every now and again, I find it difficult to get to sleep.

  • Neil: Well, keep listening and we might have some

  • advice to help with that, but first, a question:

  • What is the record for the longest a human

  • has gone without sleep? Is it:

  • A) about seven days?

  • B) about nine days? Or

  • C) about 11 days?

  • What do you think, Rob?

  • Rob: All of those seem impossible!

  • So I've got to go with the shortest - about seven days.

  • Neil: Well, if you can stay awake long enough,

  • I'll let you know at the end of the programme.

  • Dr Michael Grandner is an expert in all things

  • to do with sleep.

  • He was interviewed recently on the BBC radio

  • programme Business Daily.

  • He was asked what his best tip was to help

  • you get to sleep if you are finding it difficult.

  • What was his suggestion?

  • Dr Michael Grandner: And it sounds counter-intuitive,

  • but trust me I've got decades of data behind

  • this statement:

  • If you cannot sleep, get out of bed.

  • Neil: So Rob, how does he suggest you help yourself

  • to get to sleep?

  • Rob: Well actually, he says that the best thing

  • to do is to get out of bed!

  • Neil: That sounds exactly the opposite of what you

  • should do, doesn't it?

  • Rob: Well, he does say that his advice is

  • counter-intuitive, which means exactly that.

  • That it is the opposite of what you might expect.

  • Neil: And he says that this advice is backed up

  • by decades of research.

  • A decade is a period of 10 years

  • and when we say 'decades',

  • it's a general term for many years, at least 20.

  • Let's hear that advice again from Dr Grandner.

  • Dr Michael Grandner: And it sounds counter-intuitive,

  • but trust me I've got decades of data

  • behind this statement:

  • If you cannot sleep, get out of bed.

  • Neil: So why is getting out of bed good advice?

  • Here's the explanation from Dr Grandner.

  • Dr Michael Grandner: When you're in bed

  • and you're not asleep

  • and you do that over, and over, and over again

  • for extended periods of time,

  • the ability of the bed to put you to sleep

  • starts getting diluted.

  • Not only that, it starts getting replaced

  • by thinking, and tossing and turning, and worrying,

  • and doing all these things. When you're not asleep,

  • get out of bed. This is probably one of the most

  • effective ways to prevent chronic insomnia.

  • It's also one of the really effective ways to treat it.

  • It won't work 100% of the time,

  • but it will actually work more than most people think.

  • Neil: We normally sleep in beds.

  • Beds are designed to make it easy to sleep,

  • but if we can't sleep,

  • that makes the bed's impact weaker.

  • As Dr Grandner says, 'it dilutes the power of the bed

  • to help us sleep'.

  • Rob: When you dilute something, you make it weaker.

  • For example, you can dilute the strength of a strong fruit

  • juice by adding water to it.

  • Neil: So if we stay in bed, tossing and turning,

  • which is the expression we use to describe

  • moving around in the bed trying to get to sleep,

  • we begin to think of the bed as place where we don't

  • sleep rather than as a place where we do sleep.

  • So, get out of bed to break the connection.

  • Rob: This he says is a positive way to approach

  • chronic insomnia.

  • 'Chronic' is an adjective that is used to describe

  • conditions that are long-lasting.

  • So we're not talking here about

  • occasionally not being able to get to sleep,

  • but a condition where it happens every night.

  • Neil: Let's hear Dr Grandner again.

  • Dr Michael Grandner: When you're in bed

  • and you're not asleep

  • and you do that over, and over, and over again

  • for extended periods of time,

  • the ability of the bed to put you to sleep

  • starts getting diluted.

  • Not only that, it starts getting replaced

  • by thinking, and tossing and turning, and worrying,

  • and doing all these things. When you're not asleep,

  • get out of bed. This is probably one of the most

  • effective ways to prevent chronic insomnia.

  • It's also one of the really effective ways to treat it.

  • It won't work 100% of the time,

  • but it will actually work more than most people think.

  • Neil: Time to review today's vocabulary, but first,

  • let's have the answer to the quiz question.

  • What is the record for the longest a human

  • has gone without sleep? Is it:

  • A) about seven days?

  • B) about nine days?

  • C) about 11 days?

  • What did you think, Rob?

  • Rob: I thought it must be about seven days.

  • Neil: Well, I'm afraid you're not right.

  • The answer, rather amazingly, is actually

  • just over 11 days.

  • Extra bonus points for anyone who knew that that

  • was done in 1964 by someone called Randy Gardner.

  • Rob: That's extraordinary.

  • It's difficult to imagine even going a couple of

  • days without sleep, but 11!

  • I wonder how long he slept for after that!

  • Neil: 14 hours and 40 minutes.

  • Rob: You've got all the answers, haven't you?

  • Neil: Well when I can't sleep, I get up and read trivia!

  • And now it's time for the vocabulary.

  • Today our topic has been 'insomnia'.

  • Rob: This is the word for the condition of not

  • being able to sleep.

  • And something that people do

  • when they are trying to sleep is 'toss and turn' in bed.

  • Neil: The opposite of what seems logical or obvious

  • is counter-intuitive.

  • It goes against what you might expect.

  • So if you can't sleep, get out of bed.

  • Rob: Our next word is 'diluted'.

  • This is from the verb 'to dilute'

  • which means 'to make something less strong'.

  • Neil: And finally there was the adjective 'chronic'.

  • This is an expression for a medical condition

  • that is long-lasting.

  • So someone who has chronic insomnia

  • regularly has difficulty getting enough sleep.

  • It's not just something that happens now and again.

  • Rob: Well, we hope that 6 Minute English isn't

  • a cure for insomnia,

  • but I do find listening to podcasts and spoken radio

  • helps me get to sleep.

  • Neil: Well, before we all drop off to sleep from

  • the comforting tone of your voice, Rob,

  • it's time for us to say goodbye.

  • That's it for this programme.

  • For more, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  • and our Youtube pages, and of course our website:

  • bbclearningenglish.com,

  • where you can find all kinds of other programmes

  • and videos and activities to help you

  • improve your English.

  • Thank you for joining us, and goodbye.

  • Rob: Bye!

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 UK rob sleep bed insomnia dr chronic

What to do when you can't sleep: 6 Minute English

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    odo1025q posted on 2019/06/17
Video vocabulary