Efficiency is a big buzz word in the world of work, but how efficient are you at sleeping? Your sleep efficiency score is a measure of how well you’ve slept. It is the amount of time you spend in bed actually asleep, as opposed to trying to fall asleep or lying in bed awake. The magic number is not how many hours you spend in bed, but how many hours you spend in bed asleep.
So how do you calculate your score? Don't worry, it's not as complex as this...
HOW TO ESTIMATE HOW LONG YOU HAVE SLEPT:
The easiest way to do this is probably to use a sleep tracker as they take the stress out of recording your sleep patterns. Sleep trackers track your heart rate so they are more accurate than devices that just record your movements overnight.
If you don’t have a sleep tracker, then you’ll need to estimate roughly how long you were awake during the night, including the time it took you to fall asleep, and minus that from the amount of time you spent in bed.
For example, if you went to bed at 10 pm and got up at 6 am, you were in bed for 8 hours. But if it took you two hours to fall asleep, and you estimated that you were awake for around an hour overnight, then you actually only slept for 5 hours.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR SLEEP EFFICIENCY:
Let’s say, for example, you are in bed for eight hours, but asleep for only six. You have an efficiency rating of 6/8. This is equal to 75%, which would be considered poor.
To calculate your sleep efficiency, translate your sleep and time in bed into minutes. Then, divide the time you were asleep by the time you were in bed. Using the above example:
360 / 480 = 0.75 (then multiply by 100 to get a percentage, which = 75%)
WHAT TO AIM FOR:
You should be aiming for a sleep efficiency score of around 85%.
100% is unrealistic because everybody needs a bit of time to fall asleep. In fact, very few people will have a sleep efficiency that is over 90%. If you are falling asleep immediately, then it may be that you are too sleep deprived.
It might surprise you to learn that even an insomniac will probably spend around 70% of the night asleep.
NB: This article is for information purposes, and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, or have symptoms which prevent you from sleeping well, you should contact your medical practitioner.