Are You Sleep-Deprived?
Episode #2 of the course The science of sleep: learn how to improve your sleep by Somni
40% of all American adults are sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation is a silent killer of performance and health. It slowly compounds, and before you know it, you don’t even realize that you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be rested and performing at your best.
Today, we are going to determine if you are sleep-deprived so that you can face the issue head on. Don’t worry—we’re going to give you the tools to be able to do that successfully.
Below is a test known as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. We ask that you take a few minutes to answer the brief questions before you continue on in this lesson. The test won’t be accurate if you aren’t, so we ask for your full honesty while disclosing your answers.
Sleep Deprivation Test
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you have not done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have affected you. Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation
0 = Would never doze
1 = Slight chance of dozing
2 = Moderate chance of dozing
3 = High chance of dozing
Sitting and reading 0 1 2 3
Watching TV 0 1 2 3
Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g., a theater or a meeting) 0 1 2 3
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break 0 1 2 3
Lying down to rest in the afternoon 0 1 2 3
Sitting and talking to someone 0 1 2 3
Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol 0 1 2 3
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic 0 1 2 3
After taking your test, please reference your result with our interpretation scale below:
● 0-7: It is unlikely that you are abnormally sleepy.
● 8: You have a limited amount of daytime sleepiness and are bordering on sleep deprivation.
● 9-15: You may be excessively sleepy depending on the situation. It is recommended that you consider a sleep extension program to reduce your sleep debt and modifying your sleep habits.
● 16-24: You are excessively sleepy and should consider seeking medical attention.
If your test results tell you that you are not sleep-deprived, congratulations! You have already accomplished one of the most important steps to bettering your sleep health. But stick around for the rest of our lessons—we plan on showing you additional strategies for improving the quality of your sleep and using it to further optimize your life.
If your results point to sleep deprivation, you’re like most of us. In the coming lessons, I will give you actionable advice to combat sleep deprivation and reduce your sleep debt—the difference between the amount of sleep you need every night and what you actually get. This difference grows over time and can significantly impact your ability to learn, regulate emotions, and function in a physically healthy way.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Sleep
1. Turn your phone off and leave it outside the bedroom at night. Cell phones impair good sleep by stopping the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, through emitting blue light.
2. Incorporate small healthy changes to your sleep routine, such as:
a. A hot shower
b. Caffeine-free tea
c. Reading a book or doing some light stretching
3. Establish a routine—the body and brain love routine. The more consistently you can go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, the better.
Tomorrow, we will help you reduce your sleep debt and combat sleep deprivation.
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