A poor night's sleep can drag your entire day down, but with so many sleep tips out there, it can be hard to tell what brings the ZZZs and what's no more than a myth. Take this quiz to see if you can separate fact from fiction.
What's the minimum number of hours of sleep recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?
The CDC recommends a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. Sleeping less than seven hours a night on average is linked to all kinds of negative health effects, from heart disease to diabetes.
True or false: The average person gets just six hours of sleep each night.
A whopping two-thirds of Americans get at least seven hours of sleep each night. That may sound promising, but it still leaves more than 80 million Americans with serious sleep debts.
True or false: Your brain and body shut down completely when you sleep.
Contrary to popular belief, your brain and body functions stay active while you sleep.
True or false: Napping provides the same long-term health benefits of nighttime sleep.
Naps provide a temporary energy boost but do not offer the same health benefits of nighttime sleep.
How many hours of sleep do teens need each night?
Teens actually need slightly more sleep than adults and should average from nine to 10 hours each night.
True or false: More than 70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder.
An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder, resulting in around $50 billion in lost productivity each year.
True or false: Night-shift workers are more likely than those with a standard work schedule to experience a car crash.
One out of five night shift workers surveyed reported having a crash or near-crash in the past year. These workers are particularly vulnerable when driving home from work in the early morning.
True or false: Opening the window or listening to the radio is a good way to stay awake while driving.
There is simply no substitute for adequate sleep when it comes to operating a vehicle, especially from 12 to 7 a.m. when the body is naturally most tired.
How long do people sleep on average when given unlimited opportunity for sleep with no interruptions?
When subjects are given unlimited opportunity to sleep in a research setting, they average between 8 and 8.5 hours of shut-eye.
True or false: Elderly people need less sleep than middle-aged adults.
Elderly people need about the same amount of sleep as the average adult, but they tend to get less sleep on average due to medical conditions and increased urination frequency.
What’s the ideal length for a nap?
The ideal nap lasts just 20 minutes — long enough to refresh you but not so long that it interferes with your nighttime sleep.
True or false: A tired child will always act lethargic.
Some sleepy children actually get hyperactive. In fact, overly tired kids are sometimes misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
How long does it take for the effects of caffeine to wear off?
It takes six to eight hours for the pick-me-up effect of caffeine to wear off, so consuming caffeine in the evening or at night can disrupt your sleep routine.
True or false: Exercise can help you sleep, as long as it's done no later than two to three hours before bed.
A solid 30-minute workout can help you sleep better, but not if you do it too close to bedtime. Schedule your workout so you're done exercising at least two to three hours before bed.
What percentage of adults snore?
An estimated half of all adults snore, and those that admit to snoring do so regularly and loudly.
True or false: Everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
The majority of people with sleep apnea snore, but not all snorers have this condition, which could be serious if left untreated.
Which of the following is NOT one of the most common sleep disorders in the U.S.?
The four most common sleep disorders in the U.S. are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy.
True or false: It takes the average person at least 30 minutes to fall asleep at night.
Taking longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep is one common sign associated with sleep disorders.
True or false: Once you get into bed, you should stay there, no matter how long it takes you to fall asleep.
If you're having trouble sleeping, avoid laying in your bed awake for more than 20 minutes, as this can lead to even greater troubles with insomnia.
True or false: Drinking alcohol before bed can reduce the quality of sleep.
Drinking alcohol may make you fall asleep quickly, but it will cause you to wake up when the alcohol wears off, and it may make it difficult for you to get back to sleep.
True or false: The ideal temperature range for sleeping is 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 19 degrees Celsius).
Dial down that thermostat! The ideal range for quality sleep is 60 to 67 F.
True or false: Taking a hot bath before bed can help you fall asleep.
A 102-degree Fahrenheit (39-degree Celsius) bath about half an hour before bed can help you sleep by lowering your body temperature.
Which of these is the ideal bedtime snack?
The ideal bedtime snack blends carbs and protein. Try cereal with milk or cheese and crackers if you need a little something to help you sleep.
True or false: Eating turkey will put you to sleep because it contains tryptophan.
There is simply not enough tryptophan in turkey to impact sleep all that much. If you feel extra tired after Thanksgiving dinner, it's not the turkey — you probably just ate too much.
You should avoid artificial light — and your phone — for a full hour before bed.
The light from your TV, phone or tablet can keep you awake, so turn off these devices and read a book at least an hour before bed.
True or false: Eating a big meal before bed will help you sleep longer.
Going to bed stuffed is as bad as going to bed hungry when it comes to building healthy sleep habits. Try and plan your final meal of the day for two to three hours before bed.
True or false: You can reset your biological sleep clock by one to two hours each night at most.
Your biological clock is programmed to make you sleep at certain times, a major cause of jet lag. Instead of attempting major changes, try adjusting your sleep schedule by no more than one to two hours each day when you travel.
True or false: You should keep a consistent sleep schedule seven days a week.
A regular sleep and wake schedule — yes, on weekends too — is the most important factor behind building healthy sleep habits.
True or false: Sleeping too much can be as bad as sleeping too little.
In one study, people who slept more than eight hours per night were more likely to die than those who slept less than six hours per night, even after accounting for the causes of all that extra sleep, such as health conditions or depression.
True or false: You can reverse the effects of poor sleep habits by repaying your sleep debt.
When you sleep less than seven hours each night, you build a sleep debt. By sleeping a little extra each day, you can repay the debt and restore your health.
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