How to calculate sleep quality at home

What makes sleep “quality” varies widely, as everyone has different lifestyles, habits, and needs. There are many consistent factors sleepers report when evaluating whether or not they get quality sleep, including sleep disturbances, bedroom environment, and daytime sleep habits.

Sleep quality vs sleep quantity

Sleep quality and sleep quantity are not directly associated. In other words, people may sleep for a long period of time, but it may be disturbed sleep and therefore not considered quality sleep.

Why is sleep quality so important?

Sleep quality is important for a number of reasons. Just like breathing, eating, and drinking, sleep is an essential human need. It affects one’s ability to feel rested and energized for the next day and decreases daytime sleepiness. Quality sleep supports mental and physical health and contributes to the overall quality of life.

Poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation can have many negative effects. These can be physiological, including increased risk for stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Negative effects can also be psychological, such as increased irritability or development of anxiety or depression.

How can you calculate your sleep quality at home?

To calculate your quality of sleep at home you can begin by answering three basic questions about your sleep:

1. How long does it take you to fall asleep?

While the amount of time it takes someone to fall asleep varies, regularly taking longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep is an indicator of poor sleep.

2. How long are you asleep in bed?

People who spend less than 85% of their time in bed not sleeping have poor sleep efficiency.

3. How often do you wake up during sleep? For how long?

For quality sleep, it should take less than 20 minutes to fall asleep again.

It is often helpful to keep a sleep diary to answer these questions and take notes of your sleep after you wake up each morning and write down your habits and activities of the day before bedtime. The sleep diary can help you identify factors personally affecting your sleep.