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03rd May 2019

Are you sleep deprived? Here’s a simple test to find out

We all say it, but...

Anna O'Rourke

We’d all like to get more sleep, but could you actually class yourself as sleep deprived?

It’s easy to throw the term around, but there’s actually a simple way to find out whether you really are suffering from sleep deprivation, thanks to ‘The Truth About Sleep‘, a BBC programme.

You can take what’s called the ‘sleep onset latency test’. It’s a quick test you take at home in the middle of the afternoon and all you need is a watch (although we’d use a timer), a metal spoon and a metal tray.

You simply set a metal tray down next to your bed and lie on the bed, holding the spoon out over the side of the bed. Check the time (or set your timer) and then close you eyes and see how long it takes you to get to sleep.

As soon as you fall asleep, your hand will release the spoon, dropping it on the tray and waking you up.

When you wake up, check how long it took you to fall asleep. If it takes you fewer than 10 minutes to fall asleep in the afternoon, you’re sleep deprived.

If it’s less than five minutes, you may have severe sleep deprivation.

Watch this video from the BBC to find out more.