How Much Do You Know About Sleep Health?
Test Your Knowledge
Introduction
 

Exercise, eat right, and get a good night’s sleep. How often do you hear those words of wisdom?

While heeding this common advice can have a positive effect on your overall health, we seem to pay more attention to exercise and nutrition than sleep health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 75 percent of adults report at least one sleep issue a few nights per week. Take this true/false quiz with eight questions to see how much you know about sleep and its effects on your health. After each question, you will find out if your answer is correct or incorrect. Helpful tips to improve sleep quality will be provided.

 

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How Much Do You Know About Sleep Health?
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Question #1

 

 

 

It is best to exercise before going to bed to help get a good night’s sleep.

True   False

 

 

How Much Do You Know About Sleep Health?
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Question #1

 

 

Exercising produces heat and raises the body’s temperature. Several hours after exercise body temperature drops, producing an optimal condition for sleep. Since sleep is more likely to occur with a cooler body temperature, exercising three to six hours before bedtime improves sleep by first heating up and then cooling down the body’s temperature.

Taking a hot bath or shower can have a similar effect on sleep onset for those who are unable to exercise. Eating, like exercise, increases the body temperature and should also be avoided within two to three hours before bedtime.

 

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Question #2

 

 

 

Sleep medication works best if you take it every night.

True   False

 

 

How Much Do You Know About Sleep Health?
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Question #2

 

 

Sleep medication is less effective when taken regularly because the body can develop a tolerance to it. It is best to rely on having a regular nightly routine that includes cues such as bathing or showering, changing into bedtime clothing, and brushing your teeth at about the same time each night. When needed, the best choice of sleep medication is one with a quick onset and short duration.

Sedating anti-depressants are an exception to this rule. They are helpful for people who have insomnia due to depression. In fact, while some sedating anti-depressants may take several weeks to begin to have an effect on sleep, they may be taken for years to improve symptoms of depression including insomnia.

Over-the-counter medications, however, can have undesirable side effects such as daytime drowsiness, unclear thinking, and a dry mouth. Always consult your physician regarding sleep medications.

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Question #3

 

 

 

Spending less time in bed can improve sleep.

True   False

 

 

How Much Do You Know About Sleep Health?
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Question #3

 

 

Spending time in bed watching television, reading, or talking on the phone makes it more difficult for the body and mind to associate the bed with sleep. Restricting time spent in bed can improve sleep quality and efficiency. In fact, getting out of bed, and the bedroom, whenever you find that you are awake is a healthy habit.

It is best to associate the bed with only sleep, and to avoid falling asleep at night in places other than the bedroom. Maintaining a regular time for falling asleep and waking, even on weekends, can improve sleep quality.

 

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Question #4

 

 

 

Loud snoring and lapses in breathing are common problems and should not cause concern.

True   False

 

 

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Question #4

 

 

Loud snoring and pauses in breathing or unusual breathing patterns can be symptoms of sleep apnea. Other symptoms include morning headaches, sexual impotence, hypertension, excessive daytime sleepiness, and abnormal movements during sleep.

Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, which requires a sleep study for confirmed diagnosis. There are effective treatment options, however, for those diagnosed with sleep apnea.

 

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Question #5

 

 

 

Falling asleep and staying asleep are different problems.

True   False

 

 

How Much Do You Know About Sleep Health?
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Question #5

 

 

Falling asleep (sleep initiation) can be affected by caffeine intake, exercising late in the day, emotional stimulation, and stress. Persons with difficulty falling asleep may benefit from a nightly routine that is based on a gradual decline in activity and light exposure from early evening until bedtime.

Relaxation and breathing exercises may help to induce sleep by training the body and mind to relax, but regular practice is required before these techniques show an effect.

Staying asleep (sleep duration) is a different problem from falling asleep. Persons who have difficulty falling asleep may benefit from: restricting evening fluids; changing medication times; changing room temperature; or changing bedtime clothing. If a bed partner is the cause of wakefulness, then moving to another bed may be helpful. Perimenopausal women may have wakefulness caused by night sweats and should discuss treatment options with a physician.

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Question #6

 

 

 

Melatonin is a safe over-the-counter sleep aid.

True   False

 

 

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Question #6

 

 

Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It creates changes in the body that are similar to those caused by light (darkness signals sleep and light signals wakefulness). Because there is insufficient evidence about dosing, side effects, and drug interactions, it is not recommended as a sleep aid.

Check with your pharmacist or physician before using any over-the-counter sleep preparation, as harmful side effects and drug interactions may occur. Avoiding bright lights in the evening can help promote sleep, and gradual exposure to light before waking can help prepare the body and mind for getting out of bed.

 

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Question #7

 

 

 

Chronic insomnia can cause heart disease.

True   False

 

 

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Question #7

 

 

While there is a relationship between insomnia and heart disease, it is not known if one causes the other. Research does indicate that reducing insomnia can improve heart health. Persons with sleep apnea, in particular, benefit from treatment because of improved oxygenation to the heart and brain.

Chronic insomnia can also be a symptom of depression, which is also linked to heart disease. New research suggests that lack of sleep may lead to overeating and obesity, which contribute to the development of heart disease.

Physical inactivity can also contribute to insomnia, obesity, heart disease, and depression. Increasing physical activity even slightly can have a positive impact on sleep and overall health.

 

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Question #8

 

 

 

Lack of sleep can increase the chance of having an accident.

True   False

 

 

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Question #8

 

 

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), fatigue, a side effect of insomnia, causes more than 100,000 highway accidents and 1,500 deaths per year. Fatigue can affect performance levels for many tasks and have serious safety consequences. Fatigue can also cause listlessness, irritability, decreased creativity and enthusiasm, and memory impairment.

 

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How Much Do You Know About Sleep Health?
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Results

 

 

You answered out of 8 questions correctly.

Sleep is a vital part of overall health. It affects and is affected by exercise and eating habits, mainly because these affect body temperature, which in turn affects sleep. Sleep quality can be improved by first identifying whether the problem is with falling asleep, staying asleep (length of time sleeping), or sleep efficiency (time asleep/total time in bed).

Taking gradual steps to increase physical activity, reduce caffeine intake, maintain the same waking and bed times, and create bedtime rituals will improve sleep quality for many.

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