Because a good night's sleep shouldn't have to feel like a novelty

Medically reviewed by Shaheen Lakhan, MD, PhD, FAAN

While we may know how important sleep is to our health and well-being, most of us hardly get enough. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll taken in 2020, more than one-third of U.S. adults aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep and feel tired during the day for at least half the week.

Take this free quiz to help you learn more about your sleep and decide if you should get evaluated for a potential sleep disorder.

Who Is This Sleep Quiz For?

This sleep quiz is for anyone who has trouble sleeping or thinks they may have a sleep disorder. It can help you recognize signs of sleep deprivation and common sleep disorders, which could let you know it’s time to consult a medical professional about your sleep.

About This Sleep Quiz

This sleep quiz is based on the symptoms of disrupted or disordered sleep. Each response corresponds to your potential for having a sleep disorder—low, moderate, or high.

A medical professional may ask you questions about your sleep and medical history and perform an exam to diagnose you with a sleep disorder.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

Our minds and bodies need sleep each night to function. Here’s how much sleep we need a day at each age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours
  • 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours
  • 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours
  • 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours
  • 18 and older: 7 or more hours per night

Related: Sleep Debt: Is It Real?

Common Types of Sleep Disorders

Regularly feeling tired during the day is a sign we're not getting enough sleep—though it doesn’t automatically mean we have a sleep disorder. Some causes of sleep disturbance can be linked to modern life—longer work hours and more electronic devices—but others can be linked to sleep disorders. 

There are over 80 different sleep disorders, and some are more common than others. We might have a sleep disorder and not even know it, so it’s a good idea to talk with a medical professional. 


Insomnia is marked by trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep. It’s the most common sleep disorder, with about 1 in 3 people in the United States who say they have trouble sleeping weekly for at least one night.

People with insomnia usually can't get enough sleep at night, making them feel tired throughout the day. Daytime sleepiness can also cause problems functioning or performing certain tasks.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and restart several times during sleep. When this happens, your blood oxygen levels drop, which triggers your body to pull you out of deep sleep to restart breathing. Interrupted sleep causes daytime sleepiness and, if left untreated, contributes to or worsens several medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked. This can happen due to obesity, large tonsils, or changes in hormone levels. Central sleep apnea is caused by the brain not sending signals to the body to breathe. 


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes a sudden need to sleep, even at inappropriate times. It usually happens multiple times in one day. The disorder is also marked by the sudden loss of muscle tone, which can cause involuntary head and jaw movements or falls.

Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder that causes a strong desire to move the legs due to a tingling or unpleasant feeling. Since it usually happens when the person is still and trying to fall asleep, RLS can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Circadian rhythm disorders

Circadian rhythm disorders are conditions that happen because your body’s circadian rhythm has been disrupted, making it hard for you to fall asleep and wake up on a regular schedule triggered by sunlight and darkness. People who work night shifts (shift work) or travel to different time zones (jet lag) may experience a disruption to their circadian rhythm. 

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Health?

A few rough nights of sleep here and there are unlikely to cause issues, but an ongoing lack of sleep is tied to a variety of negative effects on mental and physical health. Conditions that can be triggered by or worsened by chronic sleep loss include: 

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke 
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Obesity
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety

Related: Diet, Exercise, and Sleep Are Pillars of Mental Health, Study Finds

Tips for Getting to Sleep

Sleep disorders require diagnosis and management by a medical professional, but there are also things you can do on your own to promote good sleep.

  • Create a regular sleep routine and try to go to bed and wake up around the same time daily. 
  • Avoid caffeine later in the day.
  • Get regular exercise or physical activity during the day.
  • Create a good sleep environment with a dark, quiet room that’s not too hot or too cold. 
  • Keep electronics out of the room where you sleep, and try to avoid using them too close to bedtime.

Related: How to Ditch Poor Sleep Hygiene

Read the original article on Verywell Mind.

2023-11-20T18:17:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd