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Test Your Sleep Smarts

Hayley Dawes
11 January 2023

Learning about snooze time shouldn’t be a snore. Take this quiz to figure out how you and your family can make your sleep more restful, night after night.

Sleep is a totally natural process, something humans are designed to do daily. Nearly 71% of UK adults do not have the recommended 7-9 hours sleep a night. Whether you think you’re a sleep superstar or know your snoozing could use work, take this quiz to get the best slumber possible.

1. Why is sleep important?

a. It keeps your mood stable and gives you energy to embrace your day

b. It powers up your immune system and allows you to think clearly

c. It makes it easier to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan

d. All of the above – and more

Good sleep health should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle along with diet and exercise. People who don’t sleep enough often choose unhealthier foods or are hungrier, or they don’t feel like exercising because they’re too tired. When you’re asleep, researchers believe, your brain and body do recovery work such as getting rid of toxins that build up in the brain during the day.

Answer: D

2. How much daily sleep should a person aim for?

a. As much as they can get

b. It depends on the person

c. A maximum of 8 hours

Not everyone requires the same number of hours of sleep. Younger children typically need more sleep, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important for older kids. Recommendations vary even between younger and older adults. Make sure to create a sleep schedule that considers extra-curricular activities, and family obligations as well as the time at which they need to wake up for school.

Answer: B

3. At what age should kids stop daily naps?

a. 2 or 3

b. 4 or 5

Beyond the age of 4 or 5, naps can really interfere with night-time sleep. Think of it as being like snacking – just as snacking too much will dampen your appetite for your big meals, napping will lessen your appetite for your big sleep at the end of the day. When you take away a child’s nap, they may need to go to bed earlier and may then wake up earlier, but in time they’ll get used to it and you can make their bedtime later if you need to.

Answer: B

4. What temp should your thermostat be at for the best slumber?

a. 65°F

b. 68°F

c. 70°F

The cooler our bodies get at night, the easier it is to get to our deepest and best sleep. Our bodies naturally experience a temperature drop during sleep, and when you cool your bedroom, your body gets the message that it’s time for some shut-eye. If the room is too hot, it makes the thermoregulation process harder and can result in a sweaty and restless night.

Answer: A

5. What is melatonin?

a. A prescription medicine that can help you fall asleep

b. A supplement that can cure insomnia

c. A hormone your body produces to help your feel sleepy that’s also available as a supplement

When your retinas register that the environment around you is dark (such as in the evening or in a room with the lights off), a signal tells your brain to release the hormone melatonin. Melatonin will naturally kickstart the sleep process and make you feel sleepy.

Answer: C

6. Which of these food combos is a smart bedtime snack?

a. Banana and yogurt

b. Pepperoni and cheese

c. Black tea and a cookie

d. Whiskey and ice cream

Caffeine isn’t all that can make it difficult to wind down – sugar can as well. And while a nightcap might be enticing, alcohol can lead to restless zzz’s. Spicy foods like pepperoni are no-go’s if you’re prone to heartburn. If you don’t want to go to bed starving, a light snack like fruit or crackers with a little protein is a good late-night option.

Answer: A

7. When should you see a doctor for insomnia?

a. If you have 4 episodes per month for 12 months

b. If you have 3 episodes per week for 3 months

c. If you have 2 episodes per week for 3 months

We all experience insomnia, “it’s a natural response to change or stress,” says Colin Espie, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, a professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford. When stressors pass, ideally, you’ll sleep well again, but sometimes insomnia remains. If you experience it 3 or more nights a week for 3 or more months, you might want to talk to your doctor.

Answer: B

8. What is the goal of nightmare rescripting, a therapeutic technique?

a. It helps you change your mindset, so you no longer have nightmares

b. It enables you to alter recurring nightmares to give them a positive spin

c. It helps you record and analyse your nightmares in a dream journal

Often when we’re having distressing dreams, people want them not to happen, but the nightmare rescripting technique teaches you to practice the dream rather than avoid it. Avoidance consolidates bad experiences and makes them more likely to happen and more likely to terrorize us, and it also restricts our ability to operate. Exposure to those situations along with changing the endings of them makes them familiar and sometimes even funny, and that deescalates them. This technique allows your brain to recognize when you have the nightmare that it’s a dream and change the story line while you’re asleep.

Answer: B

9. What’s the purpose of dreaming?

a. To figure out solutions to all your problems

b. To give your mind something interesting to do during sleep

c. No one really knows There are lots of theories for why we dream, but scientists don’t know the exact reason. What they do know is that dreams occur mostly during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep.

Answer: C

10. If you’re sleep apnea isn’t treated, what could happen?

a. You and your partner may lose sleep and spend your days moody and fatigued

b. You could develop a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or liver problems

c. You could experience a fatal heart attack, stroke, or abnormal heartbeat while asleep

d. All of the above

Sleep apnea is when either you stop breathing, or your breathing really slows a lot repeatedly throughout the night. The number one sign of sleep apnea is snoring, but morning headache, daytime drowsiness, irritability, and difficulty paying attention are all signs of the condition.

Answer: D