Feeling sleepy? You're not alone. Many of us suffer from a lack of sleep, whether it's due to stress, bad habits, anxiety, distractions or something else entirely. In fact, according to the NHS, a whopping one in three of us suffers from poor sleep.
There are few things more frustrating than lying in bed and counting sheep as the hours slowly tick by
There are few things more frustrating than lying in bed and counting sheep as the hours slowly tick by. Then before you know it, it's time to get up and start your day feeling considerably less than well-rested.
It's normal to have the odd night of poor sleep, but if sleep deprivation is a regular occurrence then it could be seriously damaging to your health.
So how do you know if you're getting enough sleep? It's hard to know exactly how many hours of shuteye you're getting, not to mention tracking the quality of sleep.
That's where a simple sleep deprivation test may be useful. Known as the Sleep Onset Latency Test, it was developed by a researcher called Nathaniel Kleitman from the University of Chicago and recently recommended by British TV presenter Dr Michael Mosley. ‘It’s based on solid science,’ Mosley writes in The Mail.
Find out how this simple test could pinpoint sleep deprivation below.
The spoon test
To try the experiment ‘you need to lie down in a quiet, darkened room in the early afternoon clutching a spoon, which you hold over the edge of the bed,’ Mosley explains. ‘You put a metal tray on the floor by your bed, then close your eyes,’ he adds.
The idea behind the experiment is that once you nod off (if you do - not everyone does), the spoon will then drop from your ‘senseless fingers’ and onto the metal tray below with a loud clang. The noise should then wake you up (unless you happen to be a very heavy sleeper!) and you can check how much time has elapsed. So for the experiment to work, don't forget to make a note of when you closed your eyes and keep a clock nearby.
According to Professor Kleitman, if you fall asleep within five minutes of closing your eyes then you are severely sleep deprived. If you drop the spoon within ten minutes then that indicts that you are likely having trouble getting a good night's rest, and anything over 15 minutes is just about fine.
Simple! So, how did you do? Share your results with us on social media using #goodliving. And if you suffer from poor sleep, then changing your bedroom around could help - discover how to turn your bedroom into a cosy sleep sanctuary here, plus 9 secret way to get a good night's sleep.