Are you Sleep Deprived?

Respond to each of the following items by circling “T” for true or “F” for false.

T F 1. I need an alarm clock in order to wake up at the appropriate time.

T F 2. It’s a struggle for me to get out of bed in the morning.

T F 3. Weekday mornings I hit the snooze button several times to get more sleep.

T F 4. I feel tired, irritable, and stressed-out during the week.

T F 5. I have trouble concentrating and remembering.

T F 6. I feel slow with critical thinking, problem solving, and being creative.

T F 7. I often fall asleep watching TV.

T F 8. I often fall asleep in boring meetings or lectures or in warm rooms.

T F 9. I often fall asleep after heavy meals or after a low dose of alcohol.

T F 10. I often fall asleep while relaxing after dinner.

T F 11. I often fall asleep within five minutes of getting into bed.

T F 12. I often feel drowsy while driving.

T F 13. I often sleep extra hours on weekend mornings.

T F 14. I often need a nap to get through the day.

T F 15. I have dark circles around my eyes.

Scoring: If you answered “True” to three or more questions, you are probably sleep deprived. Remember that sleep is like your personal bank account. You deposit into your “account” when you are asleep and withdraw from the account when you are awake. Are you “overdrawn” on your account?


Silvano, an Italian man who suffered from a rare form of insomnia, lost the ability to sleep at age 53. Four months after checking into a sleep clinic in Bologna, Italy, in 1984, Silvano went into a coma and died. Through Silvano's case, Italian scientists discovered an extremely rare genetic disease called fatal familial insomnia, or FFI.

It's important that athletes and coaches get a good night's sleep. Sleep is the most powerful tools for mental, physical, and emotional recovery. Without it, human beings die. Here’s some tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

(1)Prepare for bed as you would any event that affects your health and happiness: appropriate clothing, nurturing environment, & mindset

(2)Turn lights low and all screens off 30 minutes prior to bed

(3)Leave computers, phones, televisions outside of room

(4)Eat earlier, NO caffeine.

(5)Get up at the same time every day, even if you have a poor night’s sleep

(6)Manage stress level and stressful events

(7)Exercise daily

(8)Keep your room cool and dark

(9) Don’t check the clock

(10) Good for sleep: dairy, fish, bananas, fresh herbs

(11) Bad for sleep: simple carbs (cookies, cakes), caffeine, spicy food, fried food

(12) Take a hot bath or shower before going to bed

(13) Read up about other tips


As soon as the sun goes down, our faithful golden retriever is ready for bed. Her canine response is natural just as it is for human beings. Nighttime activates the pineal gland, which regulates the body’s internal clock and circadian rhythms. The pineal gland produces and regulates some hormones, including melatonin, a hormone that helps us get to sleep.

Many people, especially young people, get much less sleep than past generations. Can you guess why?

Artificial light.

Screen time is a big culprit for sleep loss. Athletes who spend their evenings on their computers and other devices often have difficulty getting to sleep because the artificial light prevents production of melatonin. In turn, staying up later and later disrupts their normal sleep schedule causing them to get less and less sleep. Over time, academic performance and athletic training degrade due to insufficient recovery.

Other factors that influence sleep are - too much sugar and too much caffeine.

How to reset one’s internal clock. Have your athlete/child complete the worksheet above to determine if they are sleep deprived. Think of sleep like a personal bank account. Sleep time is depositing into the account and awake time is withdrawing. Are some of your athletes’ accounts overdrawn?