How's Your Sleep?

Did you know that March 16th is World Sleep Day? I don't think it has been designated as an official U.S. holiday, but perhaps it should be. The statistics continue to show that we are a nation (and world) of seriously sleep deprived people.

Sleeping panda

Two thirds of the people in the U.S. don't get enough sleep. 87% of high school students are suffering from lack of sleep. Unfortunately all the research on the benefits of sleep have not been enough to bring radical change to the statistics. Not only are we sleep deprived, but also quite uneducated about sleep. For too long it has been viewed as something primarily for babies and old people. Most of us think we "get enough" sleep, not having any guidelines about what "enough" really means.

Below is a quick Sleep Assessment Questionnaire. As you go through the questions, count up how many True statements you have, and let me know your current number in the comments section! Look out for my next blog, with tips for better sleep...

Maas Robins Alertness Questionaire

These twenty statements help differentiate between well-rested and sleep-deprived individuals. Ready? Answer TRUE or FALSE.

  1. I often need an alarm clock in order to wake up at the appropriate time.

  2. It's often a struggle for me to get out of bed in the morning.

  3. Weekday mornings I often hit the snooze bar several times.

  4. I often feel tired and stressed out during the week.

  5. I often feel moody and irritable, and little things upset me.

  6. I often have trouble concentrating and remembering.

  7. I often feel slow with critical thinking, problem solving, and being creative.

  8. I need caffeine to get going in the morning or make it through the afternoon.

  9. I often wake up craving junk food, sugars, and carbohydrates.

  10. I often fall asleep watching TV.

  11. I often fall asleep in boring meetings or lectures or in warm rooms.

  12. I often fall asleep after heavy meals or after a low dose of alcohol.

  13. I often fall asleep while relaxing after dinner.

  14. I often fall asleep within five minutes of getting into bed.

  15. I often feel drowsy while driving.

  16. I often sleep extra hours on the weekends.

  17. I often need a nap to get through the day.

  18. I have dark circles around my eyes.

  19. I fall asleep easily when watching a movie.

  20. I rely on energy drinks or over-the-counter medications to keep me awake.

Results: If you answered "True" to four or more of these statements, CONSIDER YOURSELF SERIOUSLY SLEEP-DEPRIVED!

Developed by Dr. James B. Maas and Rebecca S. Robbins of Cornell University