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What Do You Really Know About Sleep?

A good night's sleep -- everyone needs it, but not everyone gets it. We stay up late and get up early, and then wonder why we always feel tired. Why is sleep important? See how much you know about snoozing by taking this quiz.

1. What physiological changes occur in the brain during sleep?

a. blood flow increases

b. blood flow decreases

c. brain consumes more oxygen

d. a and c

2. The rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage is when dreaming occurs. How often does REM happen during the night?

a. 4 or 5 times

b. 3 times

c. 2 times

d. 1 time

3. To function well, adults should average how much sleep a night?

a. 6 hours

b. 7 hours

c. 7-1/2 hours

d. 8 hours

4. How many Americans suffer from undiagnosed sleep disorders?

a. 10 million

b. 50 million

c. 125 million

d. 200 million

5. A sleepless night hinders your ability to drive in morning rush-hour traffic to the same extent as which of these?

a. having one alcoholic drink

b. having two alcoholic drinks

c. being intoxicated

d. none of the above

6. Minor sleep deprivation can affect concentration, mood and what else?

a. allergic response

b. joint problems

c. hearing acuity

d. nasal congestion

7. Which of these contributes to insomnia?

a. exercise during the day

b. taking daytime naps

c. watching television

d. drinking carbonated beverages

8. Sleepwalking tends to run in families. At what ages does it occur most often?

a. 3 to 5

b. 6 to 12

c. teen years

d. adult years

9. Doing which of these can increase your energy if you get sleepy during the day?

a. drinking plenty of water

b. eating a candy bar

c. taking a nap

d. drinking a caffeinated beverage

10. Meals with more than 1,000 calories will make you drowsy. Which of these lunches can make you more alert?

a. salad with nonfat dressing

b. pasta

c. pasta with grilled chicken

d. steak

The answers

1. d, a and c.

2. a, 4 or 5 times. REM sleep occurs every 1-1/2 hours while you sleep. During such sleep, the eyes move rapidly under the closed lids.

3. c, 7-1/2.

4. b, 50 million. Most people don't know what causes their disturbed sleep cycles. Among the common causes are restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and insomnia.

5. c, being intoxicated. Lack of sleep affects coordination as much as alcohol.

6. b, joint problems. People who didn't get enough sleep also reported more stomach problems and headaches, studies found.

7. b, taking daytime naps. If you didn't get enough sleep the night before, try to get through the day and go to bed at the normal hour. A daytime nap may make it harder to get to sleep that night.

8. b, 6 to 12. Psychological factors, fatigue, or sleep loss are thought to trigger sleepwalking. Adult sleepwalkers should avoid alcohol and other central-nervous-system depressants before bedtime.

9. a, drinking plenty of water. Dehydration leaves the body fatigued and sluggish. Sugar slows down the body by rapidly diverting energy to the digestive process. Caffeine may make you more alert but won't necessarily increase your energy level.

10. c, pasta with grilled chicken. Pasta without protein raises the brain's serotonin level, which makes you sleepy.