Find out how you could optimise your sleep by taking our quiz

If you want to stay healthy in the long-term, you’ll need to optimise your sleep. Over time, poor sleep increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Regularly cutting back on your need for sleep by just an hour can double your risk of cancer. Not to mention that the groggy aftermath of a poor night’s sleep can severely affect your alertness and mental performance. You may end up endangering your own life, or the lives of others, especially if you drive or operate machinery.

Take our sleep quiz to see if there’s any room for improvement. Circle the score for the answer that most applies to you.

Sleep quiz Score to your answer
1. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
    a. 8-9 hours
    b. 7-8 hours
    c. 6-7 hours
    d. Less than 6 hours

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
2. How long does it take you to get to sleep?
    a. Less than 10 minutes
    b. Between 10 and 20 minutes
    c. More than 20 minutes (but less than an hour)
    d. More than an hour

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
3. How light is it in your bedroom when you sleep?
    a. Pitch black
    b. Mostly dark
    c. Not very dark
    d. As bright as day!

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
4. How noisy is it in your bedroom at night?
    a. Totally silent
    b. Fairly quiet
    c. A bit noisy
    d. Very noisy

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
5. How cool is it in your bedroom?
    a. Comfortably cool
    b. A touch too cool
    c. A bit on the warm side
    d. Like a steam room!

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
6. I eat dinner around…
    a. 3 hours before I sleep
    b. 2 hours before I sleep
    c. 1 hour before sleep
    d. Just before I sleep

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
7. I put my mobile phone down…
    a. 3 hours before I sleep
    b. 2 hours before I sleep
    c. 1 hour before I sleep
    d. Just before I hit the pillow

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
8. When do you drink caffeine?
    a. I don’t drink caffeinated drinks at all
    b. I only drink caffeine in the mornings (until 12pm)
    c. I drink caffeine in the afternoon (12pm to 5pm)
    d. I drink caffeine into the evenings (5pm onwards)

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
9. How often do you drink alcohol?
    a. Not at all
    b. Once a week
    c. Two or three times a week
    d. Four or more times a week

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point
10. When I exercise, I start my routine…
    a. 3 hours or more before bedtime
    b. 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
    c. 1 to 2 hours before bedtime
    d. Less than an hour before bedtime

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point

 

Once you have a score, read the relevant section below.

0-10                    

This should serve as a wake-up call if you want to ensure your long-term health. You may well have got used to feeling irritable and tired for much of the day, but it needn’t be this way if you make a few lifestyle changes. Spend more time sleeping. Try cutting back on alcohol and caffeine to ensure you stay well rested. Create the right sleep environment and you could start to turn things around.

11-20

                                               

A score in this range is still cause for concern. You may often feel it is a struggle just to feel you are in the land of the living. Poor sleep should be the exception, not the rule, so consider modifying your routine to ensure you get enough - every night, not just occasionally. Many sleep experts recommend setting your alarm clock to start winding down for sleep, in addition to shocking you into consciousness first thing in the morning. Putting sleep at the top of your agenda is the key to your wellbeing.

21-30

                 

Though you may be sleeping well much of the time, you could still be sleeping better. When the alarm goes off, you could easily spend longer in bed because you are still tired.During the day, you may still feel like taking a nap, perhaps relying on caffeine to keep you going. Though some fundamentals for good quality sleep are in place, redoubling your efforts will pay dividends in your land of nod.

31-40

 

 

In this range, you probably observe much of the good advice on sleep already, beginning with the need to get at least 7 to 8 hours’ sleep every night. For you, sleep is a priority - your bedroom is a sanctuary rather than a room full of gadgets for entertainment.