Most studies suggest that an average of 8 hours of quality sleep per night is what people typically require to maintain their mental and physical health. Not getting quality sleep in the right quantity for your body can have detrimental side effects on your well being. Some of these include decreased cognitive function, depression or anxiety, low energy, decreased libido, poor judgement, increased risk of dying (especially from motor vehicle crashes or work place accidents), increased blood pressure and heart disease, decreased immune function and increased appetite! Our sleep is important to rejuvenate our bodies so that they can work properly for us. Here’s a quick test to see if you have excessive daytime sleepiness which may be related to poor sleep quality at night.
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? Use the following scale to answer the questions then add up your score at the end.
0= would never doze 1= slight change of dozing 2= moderate chance of dozing 3=high change of dozing
1. Sitting and reading
2. Watching television
3. Sitting inactive in a public place ( a theater or meeting)
4. As a passenger in the car for an hour without a break
5. lying down to rest in the afternoon
6. Sitting and talking to someone
7. Sitting quietly after lunch
8. In a car, while stopped in traffic
If you score a 10 or greater, check with your doctor for an evaluation. You may have a sleep disorder preventing your body from getting the good quality sleep it needs, not to mention making you cranky and overweight!
Brooke Uptagrafft, MD
Dr. Brooke is a family medicine doctor.