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IELTS Reading Test Short Answer Questions – The Importance of Sleep

IELTS Reading Test Short Answer Questions – The Importance of Sleep

In today’s free IELTS materials we will look at short answer questions which are often found in the IELTS Reading test.

The question instructions will tell you the word limit for your answer. Sometimes the answer will also include a number. For example, the question might say ‘Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the text for each answer’.

Practise your skills by answering the questions that follow based on the extract about the importance of sleep.

Remember this is only an extract. In the real test you will need to locate the relevant section from the whole passage that contains the information you need to answer the questions!

Questions 1-3
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet.

1. What are two emotional outcomes that have been linked to inadequate sleep?
2. What can be diminished due to lack of sleep that can lead to sickness?
3. What term is used to describe healthy sleep patterns and practices?

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is a fundamental aspect of human life, yet it is often overlooked in our fast-paced society. Recent research has highlighted the critical role that sleep plays in various aspects of our physical and mental health. This article explores the importance of sleep and its impact on our overall well-being.

One of the key functions of sleep is its role in memory consolidation. During sleep, the brain processes and consolidates information gathered throughout the day, helping to strengthen memories and improve learning. This process is essential for academic performance and cognitive function. Furthermore, sleep plays a crucial role in regulating mood and emotional well-being. Lack of sleep has been linked to increased irritability and even depression. Adequate sleep allows the brain to regulate emotions effectively, leading to better mental health outcomes.

In addition to its cognitive and emotional benefits, sleep is also essential for physical health. Research has shown that insufficient sleep can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illness and disease. Moreover, chronic sleep deprivation has been associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. Despite its importance, many people struggle to get enough sleep due to various factors such as work commitments, stress, and lifestyle choices. However, making sleep a priority and adopting healthy sleep habits can significantly improve overall health and well-being.

Many individuals underestimate the importance of maintaining good sleep quality. Sleep hygiene refers to a set of practices and habits that promote healthy sleep patterns. This includes establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding stimulants like caffeine and electronic devices before bedtime. Incorporating relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises can also help calm the mind and facilitate falling asleep. By making conscious efforts to improve sleep habits, individuals can enhance the quality and duration of their sleep, leading to better overall health and well-being.


1. irritability and depression
2. (the) immune system
3. sleep hygiene

How did you do? Here are some tips to help you answer short answer questions.


1. Read the instructions carefully. Make sure you know the word limit for your answers and if there are any numbers to look for to answer the questions.

2. Start by reading the questions, underline key words, try to think about possible synonyms.

3. Skim the text. Try to find the parts of the passage relevant to the questions being asked.

4. Don’t read the whole passage in detail but focus on the first sentence of each paragraph as this will help you understand the main idea of the paragraph.

5. Go back to the questions, use your scanning skills to find the parts of the passage that contain the answers.

6. When you are in the relevant sections read those parts in detail to find the exact word(s) you need to answer the question.

7. Don’t panic about words you don’t understand! You may find that you can make an educated guess at the meanings of some from the context of the reading passage.

Membership includes FOUR discussion sessions, one to one with your support tutor (30 minutes per session). Discuss your reading or listening skills, work through your writing line by line discussing how to improve, take a mock speaking test – whatever you want to help you reach your IELTS goals!