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Ever had one of those days where you have a great night’s sleep, but still feel tired? Or you get two hours’ sleep and feel wide awake all day?
Sometimes, sleep is just confusing. But if you want to figure out if you’re actually sleep deprived or not, there’s one simple test that will put you out of your mysery.
It’s called the Sleep Onset Latency Test. Journalist and TV presenter Dr Michael Mosle wrote that while the test ‘sounds absurd’, it’s based on solid science.
Mosley says you need to lie down in a quiet, darkened room in the early afternoon, and hold a spoon over the edge of your bed.
Put a metal tray on the floor underneath the hovering spoon, check the time and close your eyes.
When you fall asleep, the spoon will drop from your fingers and hit the tray to wake you up.
Then, check the time to see how long it takes you to fall asleep.
If you fall asleep within five minutes of closing your eyes, you’re severely sleep deprived.
If it takes you ten minutes, this is ‘troublesome’.
Anything more than 15 minutes, he says, is fine.
Even at night, if you drift off as soon as your head hits the pillow, it's a strong indicator that you are not getting enough sleep.
Or, to avoid the risk of the spoon missing the tray, Mosely suggests just setting your alarm for 15 minutes and see if you fall asleep before it goes off.
And this is a man we can trust. This is a man who has slept in a phone box.
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