Quiz: Are you a healthy sleeper?
Instead of letting the eight-hour myth determine how much sleep you need, evaluate how you feel during the day. Take this quiz to determine if you’re getting enough rest
Tired of losing sleep?
If you get the right amount of sleep and you know it, feel free to skip this quiz. But if you suspect that sleep loss is affecting the way you feel in the daytime, give it a try. For each of the following symptoms of sleep loss, choose the statement that most closely describes how you feel, then tally up your numbers and read about your score.
1. Making stupid mistakes
0 points. You never make mistakes, especially when it comes to sleep. You never drink caffeine after noon, eat a big meal before bed, or miss your bedtime by even a few minutes.
1 point. Once in a while, you catch yourself putting your car keys in the refrigerator or making other odd errors, but your life isn’t much affected by these rare trip-ups.
2 points. You frequently discover that you’ve done strange or silly things, and you’re annoyed at how much time you have to spend correcting them.
3 points. You never catch yourself making stupid mistakes-but that’s only because you’re too tired to notice. Other people have to point them out to you before you realize what you’ve done.
0 points. The only time you feel irritable is when somebody interrupts your sleep.
1 point. You occasionally feel crabby, but you can successfully suppress the impulse to growl at your family or coworkers.
2 points. You’re not nearly as nice as you used to be.
3 points. Other people have commented about how irritable you are. Of course you’re irritable, you think: No one else ever does anything right!
0 points. You like sleeping so much that you “forget” to set the alarm clock.
1 point. Your mind is like a steel trap. Mostly.
2 points. Last week you forgot a meeting or appointment.
3 points. Last week you forgot to pick up your kids from school. Twice.
0 points. The only place you feel safe is under the covers.
1 point. You are cheerful and optimistic. You find lots of things to be happy about.
2 points. You have to push yourself to participate in life, but once you get going, you’re okay.
3 points. You don’t feel the same pleasure in life as you used to; the salt has lost its savor. You feel hopeless about the future.
5. Apathy/lack of motivation
0 points. You don’t ever feel like going out with friends or letting the kids stay up late on the weekends because you might miss your 10 p.m. bedtime.
1 point. Sometimes you have to consciously summon up the desire to perform a task, but you can usually talk yourself into action.
2 points. Several times a week, you really struggle to get up and do what has to be done. Sometimes you decide to just let things slip.
3 points. You’re too tired to care about anything. The house could be on fire or the kids could be cutting their hair with pinking shears, but you wouldn’t mind-just as long as you don’t have to get off the couch.
0 points. You get eight or nine hours of sleep, but you still yawn a lot.
1 point. You yawn infrequently. When you do yawn, it’s in the early afternoon or around bedtime.
2 points. Your boss says, “Am I boring you?” because you yawn during meetings.
3 points. Your husband says, “Am I boring you?” because you yawn during sex.
0 points. You wake up after a good night’s sleep, creep downstairs in your jammies, eat some breakfast . . . and then you’re ready for a nice nap.
1 point. You’re a bundle of energy. All your friends scowl as you cheerfully wave at them as they stand in line at Starbucks.
2 points. Your level of physical fatigue interferes with some of your day- to- day activities.
3 points. You are so physically exhausted that every activity feels like a burden.
8. Inability to concentrate
0 points. Your mind works more slowly than it used to. The more you sleep, the slower it gets.
1 point. There are some days when you’re not as clearheaded as you used to be, but most of the time you’re as sharp as ever.
2 points. You find it very hard to concentrate at certain times of the day, especially the early afternoon.
3 points. It’s hard for you to focus. Your mind wanders and you can’t think clearly. If you don’t write everything down, you are useless.
0-5 points: For one reason or another, you seem to be getting too much sleep. You definitely lack energy. Try going to bed a little later, waking up a little earlier, and getting more exercise. If you still feel lethargic or obsessed with sleep, check in with your doctor. You may have an underlying condition that’s causing you to feel sleepy all the time.
6-11 points: Although you have occasional symptoms of sleep loss, you tend to get the right amount of sleep for your needs. Congratulations . . . you’re right in the middle of the PH Zone.
12-17 points: Your body and mind are feeling the wear and tear of sleep loss. Never mind what the studies say about sleep requirements-your body is telling you that you’re not getting enough.
18-24 points: Your exhaustion affects you both physically and psychologically. You can’t be healthy when you’re this tired.
Excerpted from Live a Little! Copyright © 2009 by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D., Susan M. Love, M.D., and BeWell, Inc. Excerpted by permission of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.