What Is Sleep Quality?

The quality of your sleep is determined by two things: the amount of sleep you are getting (quantity) and the depth of sleep you are experiencing (also known as your sleep cycles). While getting a full night’s sleep is important, consistently getting high-quality rest (meaning you’re sleeping deep and uninterrupted) is essential to feeling energized throughout the day. Here are strategies for ensuring you’re always getting the type of sleep your body needs.

Baby Sleeping

If you’re not getting enough of the sleep you need, it can leave you feeling tired and sluggish during the day. That in turn can affect your work performance, your mood, and your physical health. If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest, try these strategies to improve the quality of your sleep.

If you’re getting enough hours, but the quality of your sleep still leaves a lot to be desired, there are ways you can ensure that every single moment of slumber is pure restorative gold. Here are strategies for making sure the time you spend in bed is as useful as possible.

You might be getting enough hours of sleep, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the most restful kind. These strategies can help.

In regards to sleep, quantity is crucial—but so is quality. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep to wake up feeling well-rested and the quality of your sleep determines whether you reap the essential physical, mental, and emotional benefits from your slumber.

How Do You Measure Good Sleep Quality?

Sleep quality is a measurement of how well you’re sleeping—in other words, whether your sleep is restful and restorative. It differs from sleep satisfaction, which refers to a more subjective judgment of how you feel about the sleep you are getting. Sleep quality is more complicated to measure than sleep quantity, but it’s not entirely subjective. Guidelines give an overview of sleep quality goals, and they include some individual and age differences. Four items are generally assessed to measure sleep quality:

Sleep latency is the time it takes for you to get to sleep. Drifting off within 30 minutes or less after you go to bed indicates that you get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep latency is the time it takes for you to get to sleep. Drifting off within 30 minutes or less after you go to bed indicates that you get a good night’s sleep.

This measures how often you wake up at night. Frequent awakening during sleep can disrupt sleep cycles and disrupt sleep quality. Waking up once or never suggests good sleep quality.

This is the number of minutes spent awake during the night after you first go to sleep. People with good sleep quality spend less than 20 minutes awake during the night.

The amount of time you spend actually sleeping in bed is known as sleep efficiency. This measurement should be optimum at 85 percent or more.

For those curious, here’s how you calculate it: First, find your actual sleeping duration. Subtract your total time in bed (in minutes) from your total time spent sleeping. Next, subtract how many minutes you spent awake during the night. Divide that figure (actual sleeping time) by your total time in bed (in minutes). Finally, multiply that number by 100 to arrive at your sleep efficiency percentage. For example: 480 (total minutes in bed) – 30 (minutes to fall asleep) – 0 (minutes awake during the night) = 450 (actual sleep time in minutes). 450 / 480 = .9375 x 100 = 93.75% sleep efficiency

These four elements combined can show how well you sleep, which then can affect how satisfied you feel when you wake up. Improving your sleep quality can ensure that you wake up feeling energized because your sleep cycles will not be disrupted.

What Is Poor Sleep Quality?

A poor sleep quality is, not surprisingly, characterized by the opposite factors. If it takes you less than 30 minutes to fall asleep, not waking up at all once during the night, and being able to sleep for longer than 20 minutes after waking up, you have a good sleep quality. You tend to feel rested the next day after getting enough sleep hours.

You’re probably not surprised to learn that sleep quality is affected by physical and emotional factors. Age, physical health problems, time spent on electronic devices, mood, and stress levels all play a role in how well you sleep. On the other hand, there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality even if these external factors aren’t within your control. We recommend making healthy lifestyle choices such as avoiding tobacco products and alcohol. Physical activity also plays an important role in sustaining a good night’s sleep.

If you’re concerned that your sleep quality is subpar, simple strategies may help. For instance, make sure that your bedroom is entirely dark (use blackout curtains to block outside street lights) and the temperature is cool (between 60 and 67 °F is ideal). Other lifestyle changes—such as drinking less alcohol and getting more exercise—may also help you upgrade your sleep quality.

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