What is sleep efficiency?
Sleep efficiency is the ratio between the amount of time you actually spend sleeping versus the time awake, during time set aside for rest.
For example, if you set aside 7 hours for sleep from 11 PM to 6 AM, you’ll want to look at the time where you are actually sleeping. If it takes 30 minutes to fall asleep, 30 minutes of nighttime awakenings, and 30 minutes trying to fall back asleep, that’s one and a half hours. In this circumstance, you will have only slept for 5 hours and 30 minutes.
More efficient sleep tends to lead to deeper, restorative sleep with fewer interruptions. In contrast, research tells us that people with chronic sleep difficulties tend to overestimate how long it takes them to fall asleep, how long they are awake during the night and underestimate their total amount of sleep. The overestimation of sleep is one reason why some people with insomnia report poor sleep despite having the opportunity to do so.
If you struggle with insomnia, reach out for further help. Tracking sleep efficiency is part of a highly effective and comprehensive treatment called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), sometimes referred to as sleep therapy.
Use the calculator below to measure your sleep efficiency:
Calculate your sleep efficiency in a few easy steps.
Answer these questions based on your previous night's sleep. It doesn't have to be exact, just an estimate will do.
What the numbers mean:
- A sleep efficiency that is consistently around 85% is considered good, where the majority of your time is bed likely spent in deep, restorative sleep.
- Less than 85% suggests room for improvement. People who struggle with insomnia regularly get lower than 85%.
- When sleep efficiency is consistently above 90%, it indicates that you may need more time in bed to get enough sleep.