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Sleepless Nights

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Your lifestyle can have a major impact on your sleeping pattern, but all of us need some shut-eye to function smoothly. This fun quiz will help you figure out if you’re sleeping enough, says Trisha Ghoroi

After a tiring day, the warmth of our comfortable bed just creates a magical effect on us, and before we realise it, we’re in a deep world of dreams. Sleep has a major impact on our mood, brain function and creativity, and so it’s not something you can ignore. If you’re a workaholic who sacrifices sleep to get the job done, you’ll soon fall behind the pack. But, if you think sleeping for 12 hours straight during weekends is going to make up for it, you couldn’t be more wrong! It’s hard to tell whether your sleeping patterns are normal, so our quiz should give you a fair idea.

1. For how many hours do you usually sleep every night?

a) 3 to 4 hours.

b) 8 to 9 hours.

c) 11 to 13 hours!

2. How long does it generally take for you to fall asleep at night?

a) I fall asleep instantly. I’m usually too tired to keep my eyes open.

b) It takes me about 15 minutes, I’d say.

c) I stay up for hours after hitting the bed.

3. Do you take a nap during the day?

a) Sometimes, but I don’t have time for naps.

b) I don’t feel the need to nap.

c) Yes, whenever I feel lazy.

4. Do you drift off to sleep during the day, sometimes without even realising?

a) Almost every day... even after three cups of coffee!

b) Sometimes, when I’m travelling.

c) Never!

5. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?

a) Exhausted! I don’t feel like getting up.

b) I feel fresh.

c) Not too good. I don’t feel sleepy, but I don’t want to wake up either.

6. Do you take medication to help you sleep?

a) Sometimes. I don’t have a proper sleeping pattern.

b) Only when I’m stressed.

c) Usually. It’s hard to fall asleep at night.

7. When it’s nearing bedtime, how long before you drift off to sleep do you put your electronics away?

a) About 15 minutes prior.

b) I stop using electronics half an hour before going to bed.

c) I fall asleep watching something on my phone or laptop.

Mostly As: You do not get enough sleep at night — not enough required by an adult to function normally, anyway. This can lead to fatigue and forgetfulness, and it can even have a negative impact on your skin. Since you don’t sleep enough at night, naps during the day become crucial to keep you moving, but there are chances that you might fall asleep even when you don’t intend to. And, falling asleep at the wheel is the most dangerous of all.

Mostly Bs: You seem to have the perfect sleep schedule and you are sleeping for the correct number of hours each night. A proper sleep pattern helps you go through your day-to-day job with ease. It plays a major role in keeping you mentally and physically active throughout the day. Keeping to a strict bedtime helps you fall asleep at night quickly and without any trouble, and you wake up feeling fresh because you’ve got the rest you need.

Mostly Cs: You’re probably sleeping more than required, but this isn’t good either. It can have negative effects on your health. For starters, oversleeping can make you susceptible to depression, obesity and diabetes, and it can also increase your risk of heart disease. Not having a fixed sleeping pattern can lead to sleeplessness and to overcome this you may end up sleeping longer than necessary.


Get better quality sleep
First of all, getting into a proper pattern is important. Synchronise your body with the natural light of the sun. This will help you maintain a proper sleep schedule. If your job requires you to work at odd hours, make sure that you get good sleep when you hit the bed. If you work till 4am and go to sleep at 5am, make sure that you set the alarm for 1pm or 2pm. Light can disrupt your sleep, be it the sun or the light coming from electronics; so make sure that your room is completely dark to help you sleep properly. Also, keep an eye on how much caffeine you are consuming. If you suffer from a sleep deficiency, chances are you are on caffeine to keep yourself from falling asleep during work. Drink your last caffeinated beverage for the day at least 6 hours before going to bed to ensure undisturbed sleep.

Avoid oversleeping
Oversleeping isn’t a good thing, and you’ll need to maintain a proper schedule to get back to normal. If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep at night, make sure that you aren’t napping too much during the day. A nap that lasts longer than 20 minutes can disrupt your sleeping patterns, keeping you awake at night and in turn, making you oversleep at night. Select a particular time to wake up. To help with this, keep the curtains of your window open. The sunlight will wake you up naturally. And once you are awake, don’t go back to sleep. Instead, get up and go for a morning jog.

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