Psychologist Richard Wiseman, the author of “59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute,” has a simple test to determine if you’re not getting enough sleep.
If you’re suffering from a lack of sleep, then you might experience very short blackouts called “micro-sleeps,” according to Wiseman. These are episodes where you involuntarily doze off for a few seconds and are not aware of what’s happening around you. (This would be a considerable nuisance at work, but could be potentially dangerous if you’re, say, driving.)
To see if you’re under-slept, Wiseman asks viewers to watch an animated clip where a scene changes after a few seconds and then flips back to the original scene. If you don’t spot certain things — like a bus switching from blue to green or disappearing buildings — then you might be sleep deprived, he says.
We’re not sure how valid this test is for sleep-deprivation since a well-known Harvard psychology test, known as the “gorilla experiment,” found that our minds tend to miss a lot of obvious things going on around us (even a giant gorilla strolling into the middle of a basketball game), without even knowing it.
At any rate, Wiseman provides some other useful ways to determine if you need more sleep. If you need an alarm clock to wake up, fall asleep within 5 minutes of getting into bed, or drink a lot of coffee during the day, then you should consider getting more shut-eye.
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