Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

What’s Your Sleep IQ? (Quiz)

Can’t seem to get enough snooze time? If you’re tossing and turning all night and restless during the day, you may be sabotaging your sleep without knowing it. Test your sleep IQ and find out our expert secrets for sleeping well, no sheep-counting necessary.

True or False: Sleep deprivation can make you fat.

Answer: TRUE. Chronic sleep deprivation affects the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and alters the levels of hormones that affect our appetite: leptin (a hormone that regulates appetite), and higher levels of ghrelin (a hormone that your stomach produces that tells your brain when you’re hungry).

Which of these foods sabotage your sleep?
A. Chocolate
B. Bacon
C. Pizza
D. Lasagna

Answer: A, B, C and D. We know, it’s cruel, but all of those tasty treats can cause you to toss and turn all night. Acidic and spicy foods can cause reflux, heartburn, and other symptoms that interrupt sleep, coffee contains caffeine, and Ham, bacon, sausages, and smoked meats contain high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, which is a brain stimulant. Your best bet? Eat light if you’re eating before bed, skip the chocolate, and drop that ham sandwich!

True or False: You can compensate for a night of bad sleep by hitting the snooze and sleeping a little late in the morning.

Answer: FALSE. Attempting to compensate for a night of disturbed sleep by staying in bed longer in the morning will disrupt your sleep cycle. Get up on time, even if you don’t feel like you’ve had enough rest.   You’ll have a much better chance of falling asleep easily when bedtime rolls around again.

A heavy meal before bedtime:
A. Helps you fall asleep faster.
B. Leaves you sluggish in the morning.
C. Interferes with your sleep at night.
D. Has no effect on how well you sleep.

Answer: B & C. A rich, heavy meal close to bedtime will interfere with your rest and leave you feeling sluggish in the morning. It’s best to eat a light meal or snack, like fruit, in the evening, especially if you are dining late. You will sleep more deeply if you have finished digesting your food before you go to bed.

How long does it take for coffee to work its way out of your system for a caffeine-free snooze?
A. Less than 4 hours
B. 6 hours
C. 8 hours
D. More than 12 hours

Answer: D., More than 12 hours. Coffee has a half-life of four to six hours, which means it takes that long for half of the coffee to be digested, and another four to six hours for the next quarter of it to be eliminated from your body. So it’ll take up to 12-14 hours for the coffee you drank to be eliminated from your system. No wonder you’re still wired at midnight when you have an afternoon pick-me-up cup at the office!

True or False: Alcohol helps you fall asleep faster.

Answer: TRUE. You probably don’t need us to tell you that a nightcap can make you sleepy. But–yes, there’s a but!–it’s a restless, light sleep…so you won’t feel refreshed in the morning. Have an important meeting in the morning? Skip the wine with dinner and you (and you boss) will thank us in the morning.

True or False: There’s such a thing as too much sleep.

Answer: TRUE. Recent studies have indicated that oversleeping is at the root of many serious medical problems, including heart disease and diabetes, and can even lead to a shortened life span. Aim for seven to nine hours a night. Getting way more but still feel exhausted? Check with your doctor: you may have a medical condition known as hypersomnia.

Diana Vilibert is a freelance lifestyle, dating, and sex writer living in New York City. You can also find her at

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