The value of quality sleep and why it is not sufficient on its own

How can one best improve the quality of their night’s rest? You may have wondered how to maximise your time in bed so that you really sleep more of it if you’ve ever found yourself lying in bed wide awake. While we will discuss methods to improve your sleep efficiency, it is crucial to remember that this is not the only useful statistic that reflects the quality of your sleep. You must also think about your sleep debt, which is a part of your individual sleep needs. We’ll get into the intricacies of each number in a moment, but first, let’s talk about how sleep efficiency is calculated.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

A person’s sleep efficiency is defined as the ratio of their entire time in bed to their total time asleep; this number is then multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. Your sleep efficiency for the night would be computed as 75% if you spent 8 hours in bed but only slept for 6 of those hours (6 hours divided by 8 hours = 0.75 times 100, which equals 75%). A sleep efficiency of more than 85% is considered high; below this threshold, the condition is generally referred to as insomnia. Maintaining a level of 90% or more is preferable. Yet, even if you have a regular sleeping schedule, there is no guarantee that you are getting enough sleep each night.

This is due to the fact that the quantity of sleep you need is not included into sleep efficiency calculations. The amount of time you need to spend in bed each night in order for your body to operate optimally is determined genetically and is known as your sleep need (similar to height or eye color). 

Sleep Debt

A person’s “sleep debt” during the past two weeks is the sum of the hours they did not sleep relative to their individual “sleep demand.” Sleep deprivation of more than around 5 hours each day may seriously compromise health. Although sleep efficiency is a more important indication than sleep debt, improving sleep efficiency with these methods will enhance the quality of your sleep in general. Both may benefit from engaging in what is known as “good sleep hygiene,” or a collection of routines that might enhance one’s quality of sleep.


Keep in mind that you can’t just replace the word “quality of sleep” with any of these numbers. Both subjective and objective measures of sleep quality tend to improve with an increase in the amount of time spent in bed (e.g., polysomnography).