Take this mini-quiz*—eyes wide open—to see how you fare in the sleep department.
- Do you need an alarm in order to wake?
- Is it usually a struggle to get out of bed?
- Do you hit the snooze button several times?
- Do you feel tired, irritable and stressed out during the week?
- Do you have trouble concentrating and remembering?
- Does your critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity seem slowed?
- Do you often fall asleep watching TV?
- Do you often fall asleep after dinner?
- Do you usually fall asleep within a couple of minutes of getting into bed?
- Do you feel drowsy while driving?
- Do you often sleep in on weekends?
- Do you need a nap to get through most days?
- Do you have dark circles under your eyes?
- Have you ever had an accident or near accident at work or while driving?
- Are you a restless sleeper?
- Do you have trouble falling asleep?
- Do you have trouble staying asleep?
- Do you wake too early or wake, still feeling tired?
- Do you feel unpleasant tingling, creeping feelings or nervousness in your legs when trying to fall asleep?
- Do you snore?
Just two “yes” answers may signal a sleep problem. Talk with your doctor about your sleep health. Or, call the Sleep & Alertness Center at (517) 975-3375.
* Adapted from Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program that Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance, James Maas, Willard Press, 1998
Paying the price for sleeplessness
Sleep experts at McLaren's Sleep & Alertness Center have known for a long time that sleep disorders and sleep deprivation are detrimental to health, quality of life, job productivity and safety. Studies across the nation bear out their clinical and educational approach to addressing sleep health, as well as their philosophy that sleep health merits the same attention and vigilance as other health issues.
- Sleepy drivers are responsible for 2,100, 000 auto accidents, 76,000 injuries, and 1,500 deaths annually.
Brain function is degraded by prolonged waking even 48 hours after “recovering” lost sleep.
Getting too little sleep may increase risk for diabetes; chronic sleep deprivation impairs the ability of insulin to do its job by 40 percent.
Women exposed to a large amount of light at night appear to have a higher risk for breast cancer.
Of the 22 million shift workers in the U.S., 68 percent report problems sleeping.
The 1989 Exxon Valdez Alaskan oil spill was attributed to the severe fatigue of the tanker’s third mate. He’d slept only 6 hours of the previous 48; the first mate had been working 30 hours straight.
The 1999 crash of an American Airlines jet in Little Rock, Ark., killed 11 passengers and injured 105. The cockpit crew had been on duty for 13 ½ hours.
Driver fatigue contributes to 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents.
On January 28, 1986, managers for the space shuttle Challenger, after working 20-hour shifts, made the decision to launch, confident in their knowledge about O-rings. The O-rings failed.
Sleep deprivation reduces attention, alertness, vigilance, and decision-making ability by 50 percent; communication skills by 30 percent; and memory by 20 percent. It also contributes to depression, irritability, mood disorders and the ability to reason.