Being sleep deprived is a real drag. You don’t even need a medical condition like insomnia to feel it, a couple of late nights in tandem will do the trick. Over time the damaging effects compound and can put your body in serious danger.
We all like to exaggerate how tired we are, it’s just part of the British small-talk zeitgeist, but to those who are genuinely sleep deprived, you have our pity. That said, you could be suffering sleep deprivation and not even realise it.
Going to the doctors because you feel sleepy a lot of the time probably isn’t worth your time. Especially since most of us can solve our fatigue by just going to bed earlier.
However, the NHS have released a report that states that “one in three of us suffer from poor sleep with anxiety, technology and taking work home”.
All you need to test your levels of sleep deprivation is a spoon and a metal tray. This is called the Sleep Onset Latency Test.
To take the test, The Independent reports, you need to “lie down in a quiet, darkened room in the early afternoon clutching a spoon, which you hold over the edge of the bed”. Probably best you try this at home rather than the office…
“You put a metal tray on the floor by your bed, check the time, then close your eyes. The question is: do you fall asleep and if so how soon after you lie down?”. Do you see where this is going?
The idea is that as soon as you drop off, the spoon will slip from your hand causing a loud bang and pull you from your sleep.
At this point you check the clock to see how much time you’ve spent asleep. If you fall asleep within five minutes it’s a clear sign that you’re sleep deprived.
If it takes more than fifteen minutes, you’re probably alright. Just make an effort to go to sleep earlier.