Think you’re getting enough sleep? Take this quiz to see if you’re on track or in need of some serious shut eye. How many of these questions do you answer “yes” to?

Getting too little sleep

Is sleep deprivation sneaking up on you?

1. I use an alarm clock.

When you’re well rested, you awake naturally at the same time each day. Keeping a regular schedule and avoiding substances that alter the natural sleeping/waking cycles lets you avoid starting your day with the stressful jarring of an alarm clock.

2. I lose my keys.

Memory consolidation is linked to REM sleep. We generally get the bulk of REM sleep in the last half of our sleep session. If our sleep is cut short, we mostly lose REM sleep and may become prone to memory glitches. Long term sleep problems have been shown to have an association with Alzheimer’s Disease.

3. I yell at my kids.

Irritability, lack of tolerance, and impulse control problems are linked to sleep deprivation for both kids and adults. A well-rested family is a more harmonious family.

4. I want doughnuts, not broccoli.

Adequate sleep balances our appetite hormones and curbs our cravings for carbohydrates and sugary snacks. Mmmm, broccoli!

5. You can’t seem to lose weight.

We produce human growth hormone and testosterone while we sleep. These hormones help us build and maintain a strong, lean body. Without adequate sleep, our diet and workout routines are less effective (and you want to eat doughnuts).

6. I’ve had a fender bender.

Chronic and short-term sleep deprivation leads to slower reaction times. A Stanford study showed sleep deprived people performed more poorly on reaction time tests than did people who were legally drunk. Enough said.

Signs of sleep deprivation can be more subtle than falling asleep during a movie or needing a venti coffee to get going. If you answered “yes” to a couple of these questions, you might take a look at your sleep habits. Sleep deprivation can sneak up on you—and diminish your quality of life— in unexpected ways.

This post is adapted with permission from



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The Way to Sleep