How many hours do you usually sleep at night? Do you sometimes sleep during the day? Why/Why not? What do you do if you can’t get to sleep at night? Why? Do you ever remember the dreams you’ve had while you were sleeping?
  • Solid (adj.) - having no break or interruption.
  • To toss and turn (phrase) - to move about from side to side or turn a lot in bed, especially because you cannot sleep.
  • Groggy (adj.) - weak and unable to think clearly or walk correctly, usually because of tiredness or illness.
  • To be dead on your feet (idiom) - to be very tired.
  • To pop (verb) - to put or take something quickly.
  • To do the trick (idiom) - If something does the trick, it has the necessary or wanted effect.
  • Occurrence (noun) - something that happens.
  • Vague (adj.) - not clearly expressed, known, described, or decided.
  • Recollection (noun) - a memory of something.
  • Lucid dream (noun) - when you know that you're dreaming while you're asleep.
  • Ill at ease (idiom) - feeling anxious and not relaxed.
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Questions and Answers
M: How many hours do you usually sleep at night?

R: I try to aim for a solid eight hours. But in reality, it's probably closer to six or seven and a half with all the tossing and turning and waking up in the middle of the night that frequently happens.

M: Do you sometimes sleep during the day?

R: Oh, I almost never. Whenever I've done that in the past, I always felt really groggy and just unable to process or focus on things. It's like being dead on your feet. Definitely not for me.

M: What do you do if you can't get to sleep at night?

R: Well, I never used to do this until my friend who is a doctor, a qualified doctor suggested it. But if I pop a mild antihistamine before bed, then that does the trick just fine. I should say, it's not a common occurrence for me, just every now and then.

M: Do you ever remember the dreams you've had while you were sleeping?

R: I sometimes have vague recollections but nothing in detail. I do remember when I have had a lucid dream, though. I always feel amazing after one of those. Similarly, if I've had a nightmare, while I might not remember the exact details, I usually still feel ill at ease afterwards.
M: So dear listener, we sleep at night, we go to sleep. And Rory aims to sleep for a solid eight hours. Here solid means like for eight hours. Like, exactly eight hours. Yeah? True?

R: Well, I think solid here means eight hours without waking up. So it's like without interruptions.

M: Yeah. Or you can say like I usually sleep for a solid seven hours, or for a solid five hours. Careful, an article, a solid five hours, seven hours. But in reality, it's probably about like six hours, seven hours, seven hours and a half. What's this tossing and turning?

R: That's just when you move around in your bed because you're trying to get comfortable or trying to relax. And it's always tossing and turning. It's not turning and tossing. It's a binomial.

M: Yay. You toss and turn in your sleep. Or before you go to sleep, before kind of you fall asleep, you do tossing and turning? Like what verb do we use?

R: Because more you are tossing and turning because of the -ing.

M: I'm tossing and turning. Or you can say like, oh, usually I sleep for seven hours with all the tossing and turning. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night. Okay? Sometimes we sleep during the day. It's called a nap. So to have a nap.

R: Or a siesta.

M: Oh, yeah. And do we take a siesta, have a siesta, sleep the siesta?

R: I don't know. You'd need to talk to a Spanish person. But you definitely take a nap or have a nap. So I'm assuming that you have a siesta or take a siesta.

M: So you can paraphrase the question. The examiner asks, do you sometimes sleep during the day and you say yes, sometimes I take a nap or I never take naps during the day. I've always felt really groggy. Groggy is like this drink? Grog? Groggy.

R: I think what I mean is very tired, like even worse, tired and unable to focus. Like... That's groggy. There's a scientific explanation for that word.

M: And Cambridge dictionary explanation is weak and unable to think clearly or walk correctly, usually because of tiredness or illness. For example, I felt a little bit groggy after the operation, for example. Or when I woke up, I felt a little groggy. And usually, I also feel this. Yeah, actually, I feel terribly groggy after I take a nap. So that's why I never take naps. It's like being dead on your feet. Nice Rory.

R: Yeah. Like a zombie. It's not a nice feeling. This is something I try to avoid a great deal.

M: So taking a nap during the day for me is like being dead on my feet. Okay? Like a zombie. Like I feel like a zombie after taking a nap. There you go, dear listener. We fall asleep or we can't get to sleep, is just when you're lying in your bed for hours and you can't fall asleep. Or for example, you can say that I fall asleep quickly. Yeah, Rory?
R: Yeah, there is an expression for this.

M: What's the expression?

R: Out like a light.

M: Could you give us a sentence?

R: Yeah. Well, it will not apply to me. But sometimes when you put your head on the pillow, you're out like a light.

M: You are out like a light. Yeah? So you're kind of like, you're out, you fall asleep quickly as if kind of you turn off the light. You are out like a light. Yeah, dear listener, and you can say, usually, I don't have any problems falling asleep. Very often I'm out like a light. Especially after a long walk or after going to the gym, I'm out like a light. So I fall asleep very quickly. Or you can say sometimes I lie in the bed for hours. So lie in bed, not lay, not lied, lie in bed. So Rory, what did your doctor suggest?

R: Well, he's not my doctor. He's just a friend who is a doctor. If you take or if you pop, especially for pills, the verb is pop. If you take antihistamines before bed, then it will put you to sleep or help you get to sleep.

M: Really? So these are like pills?

R: Yes, I'm not suggesting that this is a long-term solution. This is something that you do every now and then. It's not like something you should be doing every single night because that is an indication that there's something really really wrong with you getting to sleep.

M: And you said like, if I pop. Pop like if I take some pills?

R: Yeah.

M: Can you use "pop" with some pills? If I pop some pills...

R: Yes.

M: Take some medicine, pop some pills. Pop the pills. Pop, pop, pop, pop. This does the trick, dear listener. So Rory just eats some medicine. Yum, yum, yum.

R: I don't think I go yum, yum, yum when I take my pills.

M: Yum, yum, yum. Oh, yes. Sleeping pills. Delicious.

R: Or like I should do this in order to sleep, so I am not exhausted tomorrow. There we go. That's the logic.

M: Can I say if I pop some sleeping pills, they do the trick? So I fall asleep instantly.

R: Yes.

M: Yeah. If you don't do it often, it's not a common occurrence. So I don't often do it. It's not really common for me. I kind of do it once in a while. Yeah?
R: Every now and then. Oh my, every now and then. It's another binomial. It's almost like they occur all the time in English.

M: Yeah, so we discussed this, with all the tossing and turning, I usually sleep for seven hours every now and then. I do it every now and then. We have dreams. Sometimes we remember our dreams while we're sleeping, and sometimes we don't. How to paraphrase remember, you can say I have some recollections about my dreams. Or I have some vague recollections. So I don't have exact recollections. Memories.

R: But it's not just for dreams. You could use this for anytime you have to remember something or you're asked a question about remembering something. Oh, I have a vague recollection.

M: Yeah. For example, what about one of your birthday parties in Moscow? Give us a sense with recollections.

R: Oh, I've only ever had one really big birthday party in Moscow. And I definitely have very vague recollections of that because of the amount of alcohol we were drinking.

M: Also, you can say I do remember. Like, I really remember. I do remember when I've had a nightmare. So a bad dream. Or when I had a lucid dream. So a lucid dream is when you can control your dream, yeah?

R: Yeah, it's when you, when you just realize you're dreaming and then you do lots of crazy things because you haven't... What's the word? You haven't... No, it's not, you haven't done anything. You just, you can control things. I don't understand how lucid dreaming works. I'm not sure anybody does.

M: Also you can use the present perfect here. I do remember when I've had a nightmare. I have had a nightmare. Or I do remember when I've had a lucid dream. I usually still feel at ease. So to feel at ease. Ease or ease?

R: Ill at ease. Ill at ease.

M: Ease. Yeah.

R: And uncomfortable.

M: Ah, okay, so not just at ease but feel ill at ease. Is it a set phrase to feel ill at ease? Because we have this expression to feel at ease.

R: Yeah. And so to feel ill at ease would be the opposite, I suppose.

M: Yes. Be ill. Ill like illness, yeah? To be ill at ease. C2 proficiency. And it's an idiom, dear listener, wow. Is to be worried and not relaxed. I know. Like band nine vocabulary.

R: If only there was a course on idioms that we were working on.

M: Yes, dear listener, we are creating a course on idioms for you. Wow. I know. So for example, so be ill at ease. He seemed ill at ease and didn't look himself. Okay? Or, for example, I've just had a horrible nightmare. And I still feel ill at ease. Rory, could you give us a sentence about you?

R: I still feel... I usually feel ill at ease after a nightmare.

M: What about after an exam? Can you feel ill at ease? Or after a massive party.
R: Most people feel at ease after an exam because their stress has gone away. It's done now.

M: Yeah, you see? The expression is feel at ease is actually good. It's like relaxed. Oh, I felt completely at ease. So I was relaxed, you know? I was happy. Like after the interview I felt at ease. Not ill at ease. Okay? Rory, what does it mean if I say I'm a light sleeper?

R: Does it not mean that you have... Like it's really easy for someone to wake you up?

M: I think so. Yeah. Like maybe, dear listener, you are... Are you a light sleeper? Because you sleep and if there are any noises you kind of like... And you just wake up, you know? If like someone is snoring next to you, you also wake up. But if I'm not a light sleeper. If nothing can wake me up. Even like, I don't know, hippos, elephants can't wake me up. Who am I? What kind of sleeper am I?

R: I guess you sleep like a log, don't you? Or like a tree.

M: Can I say I'm a heavy sleeper?

R: Oh, yeah, you could say that actually, couldn't you?

M: Heavy sleeper.

R: Heavy sleeper.

M: Yeah. Sleep like a log is like when you are tired and then you kind of sleep deeply. Yeah? Like I slept like a log. Like a piece of wood.

R: Yeah. Unable to get up by yourself.

M: Like to be a heavy sleeper, when nobody can wake you up and to be at light sleeper when like everything can... Like even the slightest noise wakes you. Okay? Like I'm such a heavy sleeper. Like, nothing could wake me up. Right. So shall we wrap up with a joke?

R: Let's wrap up with the joke.

M: So you've been waiting for a joke?

R: I... Have I?

M: What?

R: No, nothing. Tell us the joke. It's fine.

M: What does James Bond do before he goes to sleep?

R: Oh, God... What?

M: He goes undercover. Dear listener, cover. What is a cover when we talk about sleep? Rory, what's a cover?

R: It's the thing you pull over yourself to stay warm at night.

M: Yeah. So you have your bed and you have a cover. Like to cover yourself. Okay? And in this joke, we have James Bond, and he's undercover. Rory, could you explain this? What does it mean to be undercover?

R: If you're undercover, it means you're a spy on a secret mission.

M: I don't feel any enthusiasm, Rory, in your explanation.

R: Because I don't like the joke.

M: Why not? It's good. Come on.

R: I like how into the joke you are. That's nice. But I'm not.

M: Yeah, it's pretty dreadful, dear listener, isn't it? To be honest with you.

R: It is pretty dreadful. Yes. Thank you for listening to the episode!

M: Bye!

R: Bye!

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