Take This Sleep-Deprived Quiz and Find Out!
Did you know that at least 10% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia and feel sleep deprived? I know I used to. I’d always be able to get to sleep, but then I’d wake up around 3:00am, tossing and turning the rest of the night. I’d finally wake up groggy and tired, dreading the day ahead because I knew I’d be dragging. Then I’d stress myself out more by worrying about my lack of sleep, which made my sleep even worse. It became a vicious cycle. Does any of this sound familiar?
Poor sleep negatively affects mood, memory, attention, concentration, motor function, and learning and retaining information. Further, poor sleep affects the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and satiety. Chronic sleep deprivation makes it more difficult for people to lose or maintain weight, because leptin and ghrelin get “off,” giving you signals to eat even when your body doesn’t need the fuel. Basically, when sleep is off, everything is off. Healthy sleep is critical to optimum wellness.
The good news is that refreshing, restorative sleep IS possible. I was able to heal my sleep through lots of research about sleep, experimentation, and making habit changes. You can, too. But before you can start to heal your sleep, it’s important to understand what a healthy sleep pattern looks like.
The Four Main Types of Sleep
- Falling asleep. The transition between waking and sleeping. It is easy to be awakened from this stage, and muscle twitches are common here.
- Light sleep. Muscle activity decreases, and you lose awareness of the external environment. 35 to 55% of your sleep is this type.
- Deep sleep. The body repairs itself during this stage, which typically occurs during the first third of the night. The immune system is strengthened, and physical healing occurs here. 5 to 18% of your sleep is deep sleep.
- REM sleep. The body dreams during this stage, and the mind recovers from the day. 15 to 20% of your sleep is spent in this stage, and more of this type usually occurs in the early morning hours.
You progress through each of these stages several times a night (although the first stage usually only occurs once, unless you’ve fully awoken during the night), with each stage typically lasting 90 to 110 minutes. Getting enough quality sleep (deep and REM) is important because that’s the time when both the body and mind recover from the stressors of the day. This is especially true if you’re recovering from illness.
How Sleep-Deprived Are You? The Epworth Sleepiness Scale*
Take the following quiz to find out if you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. Give yourself a number from 0 to 6 for the following eight situations. For accuracy, it’s important you give a number to each situation, so make an educated guess if you need to.
- 0 = would never doze
- 1 = slight chance of dozing
- 2 = moderate chance of dozing
- 3 = high chance of dozing
How Sleepy Are You? The Epworth Sleepiness Scale*
|Situation||Your Score 0 to 3|
|Sitting and reading||Your Score 0 to 3|
|Watching TV||Your Score 0 to 3|
|Sitting inactive in a public place (for example, in a theater or meeting)||Your Score 0 to 3|
|As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break||Your Score 0 to 3|
|Sitting and talking to someone||Your Score 0 to 3|
|Sitting quietly after a lunch with no alcohol||Your Score 0 to 3|
|In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic||Your Score 0 to 3|
Now, add up your individual numbers to calculate your final sleep-deprived score.
1–6 = not sleepy during the day
7–8 = average range
9 or higher = you are quite sleepy, making some changes would help you feel your best.
*Copyright M.W. Johns, 1990–97.
How did you do? If you scored lower than you want to, don’t feel alone. So many people struggle with getting quality sleep, but know it is absolutely possible to improve your sleep quality. Sanity&Self can help. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, both Jenna Padilla’s “Nature Visualization” series or my “Turn Down the Volume” series are lovely ways to calm the mind and help you drift off to sleep. If you need to make some big changes, check out my “7 Days of Better Sleep” program. Here, I give both meditations to help you get to sleep and tips to change habits to get a better night’s sleep for good. It IS possible to heal your sleep. I did, and you can too. Know that healthy, restorative sleep is possible for you, and keep making changes until you find what works. Sweet dreams!