This Simple Test Will Tell You Whether You're Getting Enough Sleep

We could all benefit from taking this test.

Despite how wonderful and necessary sleep is, many of us are not getting enough of it. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but more than a third of American adults are not regularly getting enough sleep, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

So, how can you tell if you're getting enough sleep? In a video, BBC One presenter Michael Morsley shares a clever trick called the "Sleep Onset Latency Test" to help you check yourself from the comfort of your own bed. Grab a watch, a metal spoon, and a metal tray and hop into bed in the middle of the afternoon

"You check the time, then shut your eyes. When you fall asleep, the spoon should hit the tray with a bang and wake you up," he explained. "If you fall asleep after 15 minutes, you're OK. Ten, you're sleep deprived. But if it's five minutes or less, then you may have severe sleep deprivation." 

Watch the video below.

The video of this useful test was recently posted to BBC One's Facebook page where it's been viewed nearly 3 million times and shared over 21,000 in just two days. It's clear that many people are concerned about sleep deprivation. 

"As a nation we are not getting enough sleep," Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC's Division of Population Health, said in a statement. "Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need."

For more on how to get a better night's sleep, check out this infographic

Cover image via Alina R I Shutterstock