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What is sleep efficiency

Defining Sleep Efficiency: How to Calculate and Ways to Improve It

In today’s world, sleep is one of the hardest things to get. People often suffer from insomnia and have a difficulty to fall asleep. With time, it worsens and individuals suffering from insomnia tend to spend a lot of time on the bed and not actually sleep. It is very important to correct such irregularities in the sleep pattern.

What Is the Definition and Calculation of Sleep Efficiency?

Sleep efficiency, scientifically known as Polysomnography, is a type of sleep study. It is a multi-parametric test used to study sleep and use its results in sleep diagnostic. It is the ratio of the aggregate time slept in a period of time and compared to the amount of time spent in bed.

The Meaning of Different Sleep Efficiency Rates


The sleep period fluctuates from person to person. When calculating sleep efficiency, 85% or higher is considered to be average and normal. Whereas, sleep efficiency above or at 90% is considered to be healthy and rated very good. For individuals, who have a sleep efficiency of 85% is considered poor. It indicates that the person requires to get ample amount of sleep. When an individual sleep efficiency decreases to 75% or lower, that is when it indicates Insomnia. However, when sleep efficiency reaches 100%, it is considered otherwise. Individuals with a 100% sleep efficiency indicate not enough sleep hours, which is caused by inadequate time in bed to meet the needs.

Ways to Improve Sleep Efficiency

There are multiple ways to improve sleep. One can opt for a structured treatment known as CBTI or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia. Also, one is advised to incorporate an improved sleep pattern known as Sleep Hygiene.

Create a Sleep Sanctuary: To fall asleep, one needs to be in a particular environment that would help them sleep early. The first step is to reserve the bed or bedroom only for sleeping purposes. Make your bed soft and comfort with a mattress. Without comfort, it’s hard to fall asleep.  Now finding the best mattress is not hard. Backaware is a site that shows you different types of mattress and consumer reviews to take the right decision on the mattress.  Avoid listening to music, or watching television. Put off any blinkers, lights and especially your phone.

Enhance the Association Between the Bed and Sleep: Your bed should not be used for anything other than sleep. It helps to improve sleep efficiency. Participating in any other activities associate an individual with awake-time bed activities. There are people who prefer reading books, watch television, surf the net, work, etc while on their bed. This becomes a habit and associates your mind to be active when on the bed. Therefore, one should avoid any kind of activity on the bed.

Observe Stimulus Control and Get Up If Awake:  It is important to track your time spent in bed. If you are awake for about 20-30 mins, get up and engage yourself in some other activity. When you feel sleepy again, get back to your bed and you will find it astonishing how fast you fall asleep.

Be Active During the Day and Exercise: It is suggested to stay active during the day and avoid staying or working on the bed. This method tires you out and you eventually yearn to fall asleep on the bed, the moment you come in contact with it.

Protect the Time Before Bed and Relax Before Going to Sleep: Also, you should set a certain amount of time to relax before you fall asleep. We would recommend taking a shower, read a book (away from the bed) or listen to some music on the veranda, etc.

Consider Sleep Consolidation to Enhance Your Sleep: If all else fail, one could opt for sleep consolidation or sleep restriction. It is possible if an individual spends the least amount of time in bed and use it only to sleep. Fix a sleep time and wake up time, this gets infused with our biological clock and helps us sleep better.

A Word From Verywell: However, it is highly suggestible to reach out for professional help if you suffer from insomnia. It can be treated with CBTI. This makes it possible to avoid the usage of sleeping pills and its side effects. Go for a board-certified physician who specializes in sleep.


November 4, 2018