Experts Determine Indicators for a Good Night’s Sleep

By Amy Taylor on January 31, 2017

What makes a good night sleep? According to researchers, it’s more than clocking 7-8 hours of sleep each night. There are a few other things that should also be considered. 

For the first time, The National Sleep Foundation provided the key indicators for a good night’s sleep: 

·         Being asleep for at least 85 percent of the time you spend in bed; 

·         Taking 30 minutes or less to fall asleep (or up to 60 minutes if you’re 65 or older); 

·         Not waking up more than once per night for more than five minutes (or twice a night for five minutes for those 65 or older); and 

·         Spending less than 20 minutes total awake after initially falling asleep. 

 The new guidelines were a result of 277 sleep studies reviewed by expert panel of sleep-medicine specialists and members of other health organizations, such as the American Academy of Neurology, the Society for Research of Human Development and the Society for Women’s Health Research.  

According to David Cloud, executive officer of the National Sleep Foundation, the new metrics are meant to help people better understand what good sleep health looks like overall.  

But just because people are unable to perfectly meet these guidelines doesn’t mean they no longer experience quality sleep, notes Sabra Abbott, a neurologist who specializes in circadian rhythm and sleep disorders at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She said the metrics “are useful as an initial target.”  

Understanding the Root Cause 

The guidelines can also help people identify the reasons for their sleep issues. For instance, not meeting the criteria can be a reason to check what needs improvement. Certain habits have been associated with poor sleep quality, like too much screentime and alcohol. Furthermore, not meeting the metrics may also suggest the presence of a sleep disorder like sleep apnoea and insomnia.  

Abbott said another indicator of a good night sleep is how a person feels the next day. “Do you have any reason to think you could be getting better sleep, or you feel tired during the day?” she asked. Answering ‘yes’ to these questions or not meeting the criteria may indicate sleep issues. 

Source of this article: 

This Is What It Actually Means To Get A ‘Good Night’s Sleep’, Huffington Post

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