While listening to the Cake channel on http://www.pandora.com today, I quickly attended to the song “When You Sleep,” in which Cake yeans to know “where do [your] fingers go?” while sleeping. I will now attempt to answer this riddle. First off, I must determine if the individual is truly asleep by observing each of the four criteria used to identify behavioral sleep. The organism in question must exhibit all four criteria in order to characterize the episode as true somnolence or relaxed wakefulness. These criteria include:
1. An absence of locomotor activity; true for healthy individuals, but certainly not for those with REM behavior disorder (see blog entry “The Facts About Pathological Sleep And Dreaming Per The Penguin Dictionary” for more information).
2. Stereotypic and species specific posture; while posture during sleep can be comparable across species, the posture must, nonetheless, be discernible from those maintained during waking.
3. Rapid state of reversibility; does anyone have a foghorn?!
4. Increased sensory thresholds with continual sleep; this criterium is most difficult to measure because it may require the usage of polysomnography to determine the stage of sleep. But, blasting “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana may suffice.
Moreover, if the individual is asleep, then “where fingers go” during sleep must be similar across organisms within a species, and in the case of humans, must be independent of race, socioeconmic status, ethnicity, and other demographic data. However, stereotypic and species specific corporeal postures during sleep are not evident in this artistic rendition of “When You Sleep;” it seems to appraise the uniqueness and even the eccentricity of human sleep.
Hey, I don’t even know where my fingers go when I sleep. Do you?