Weird Science: Cheaters, Racists, and Homophobes Don't Lose Sleep at Night

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Weird Science: Cheaters, Racists, and Homophobes Don't Lose Sleep at Night

This Week in Weird Science: Cheaters, racists and homophobes hardly lose any sleep at night. In fact, they report the best quality of sleep, based on a survey of 2,000 Americans. Next, we learn that America’s opioid epidemic could maybe fall on the hands of doctors prescribing the medication, with most opioid-addicted teens having first received the pills from their own doctor. Finally, children born to older mothers are less likely to be a pain in the ass later in the life.

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Cheaters, racists, homophobes … none of ‘em are losing any sleep at night.

Nope, not a single one—and, it turns out they sleep pretty damn comfortably.

A study out of SleepJunkie.org, a not-so-scientific group of “insomniacs,” surveyed more than 2,000 Americans about their sleep quality and their behavioral habits that weigh heavily on people’s minds—how many hours do you sleep at night; have you ever declared bankruptcy; have you stolen; have you cheated on your partner. From there, the SleepJunkie team mapped the results, which were … surprising, to say the least.

First off, about 60-percent of Americans get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night—not too shabby. Concerning sleep patterns based on behaviors, three out of four women lose sleep over guilt, compared to three out of five men. Cheaters don’t lose sleep over their infidelity, with 75 percent reporting a normal sleeping pattern. Equally as alarming, according to the survey results, racists and homophobes report the best quality of sleep. Overall, the best sleepers are Republican men, who work in finance, with racist and homophobic tendencies.

Those people who aren’t racist or homophobic, there’s still hope for a better night’s sleep. The study recommends no more phone, computer, tablet in bed. Also, you should exercise, eat right, and quit the boozing—even if it helps you fall asleep. Or you could just brainwash yourself with ignorance.

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We can probably blame doctors for our opioid addiction.

America has a prescription drug problem, and maybe it’s time to blame doctors for instigating it. Toothache? Percocets. Recovering from knee surgery? Percocets. Back still sometimes hurt from the time you fell out of Uncle Jerry’s willow tree when you were ate? Some percocets will do.

A recent study by some University of Michigan researchers found that most teens who abuse opioid drugs first received the drugs from a doctor—not the old-fashioned way from their parents’ medical cabinet or the guy selling extra strength Tylenol in front of Kroger.

Researchers analyzed trends in prescription opioid use among U.S. teens from 1976 to 2015, and they found a strong correlation between teens’ taking drugs for “medical” versus “nonmedical” reasons.

“One consistent finding we observed over the past two decades is that the majority of nonmedical users of prescription opioids also have a history of medical use of prescription opioids,” said Sean McCabe, the study’s lead author and research professor at the University of Michigan, to LiveScience, “We consider any rate of nonmedical use of prescription opioids alarming, based on the known adverse consequences associated with this behavior.”

In 2015, 8 percent of adolescents reported abusing prescription opioids, the vast majority of whom first received the meds from their doctor.

Prescription opioid abuse isn’t limited to just teens, either. The U.S. consumes roughly 80 percent of the world’s prescription opioid supply, with about 5 million Americans addicted to their prescribed painkiller. Opioid abuse often doesn’t stop with Oxycodone. The rise in heroin addictions in recent years, scientists suggest, could be caused by what was initially opioid abuse.

Perhaps the war on drugs should start in the doctor’s office.

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Children born to older mothers are less likely to be a pain in the ass later in life.

A new study published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology suggests that children born to older mothers and generally less dickish and experience fewer behavioral, social, and emotional challenges than children born to younger mothers

The researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark surveyed nearly 5,000 Danish mothers about their children and their families. How’s your child performing in school? How are they interacting with the other kids? Has the general assholish behavior worn off yet? They found, regardless of background, education, or even finances, that, up until adolescence, children from older mothers had a better grasp of language and social development than those born to younger mothers.

“We know that people become more mentally flexible with age, are more tolerant of other people and thrive better emotionally themselves,” said Professor Dion Sommer, who led the research, to The Independent.

The researchers can’t pinpoint an exact reason for the disparity, whether it’s the result of parenting styles or a physiological difference between the children.

Top photo by Craig Sunter CC BY-ND 2.0

Tommy Burson is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen San Diego but with more sunscreen and jorts.

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