Sleep Savvy Quiz (cont.)

7. True. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a medical condition distinguished by tingling sensations in the legs--and sometimes the arms--while sitting or lying still, especially at bedtime. The person with RLS needs to constantly stretch or move the legs to try to relieve these uncomfortable or painful symptoms. As a result, he or she has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and usually feels extremely sleepy and unable to function fully during the day. Good sleep habits and medication can help the person with RLS.

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8. False. The human body's biological clock programs each person to feel sleepy during the nighttime hours and to be active during the daylight hours. So people who work the night shift and try to sleep during the day are constantly fighting their biological clocks. This puts them at risk of error and accident at work and of disturbed sleep. The same is true for people who travel through multiple time zones quickly; they get "jet lag" because they cannot maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule. Sleeping during the day in a dark, quiet bedroom and getting exposure to sufficient bright light at the right time can help improve daytime alertness.

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9. False. As we get older, we don't need less sleep, but we often get less sleep. That's because our ability to sleep for long periods of time and to get into the deep restful stages of sleep decreases with age. Older people have more fragile sleep and are more easily disturbed by light, noise, and pain. They also may have medical conditions that contribute to sleep problems. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning, getting exposure to natural outdoor light during the day, and sleeping in a cool, dark, quiet place at night may help.

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10. True. Our bodies are programmed by our biological clock to experience two natural periods of sleepiness during the 24-hour day, regardless of the amount of sleep we've had in the previous 24 hours. The primary period is between about midnight and 7:00 a.m. A second period of less intense sleepiness is in the mid-afternoon, between about 1:00 and 3:00. This means that we are more at risk of falling asleep at the wheel at these times than in the evening--especially if we haven't been getting enough sleep.

How many answers did you get correct?

9-10 Correct Congratulation! You know a lot about sleep. Share this information with your family and friends.

7-8 Correct Very Good!

Fewer Than 7 Correct: Go over the answers again and try to learn more about sleep, and visit the following MedicineNet.com areas:


Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov).
Last Editorial Review: 10/15/2002



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