Have you ever felt that you do not feel very refreshed even after more than 10 hours of sleep the night before? And end up feeling more tired and frustrated than before you went to bed? Apparently, it is not only sleep quantity that affects your mood and productivity the next day, but sleep quality affects your health and well-being as well. In a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, it illustrated two studies that measured sleep quantity and quality in relation to health, well-being and sleepiness, and results indicated that sleep quality, apart from sleep quantity, is also key in better understanding the role of sleep in daily life. Having long hours of sleep is no longer the only important indication of improved overall well-being, but how well you’ve slept during that period of time is of equal importance as well.
Sleep studies have long focused on sleep quantity, stressing the importance of hitting the minimum amount of required sleep needed for the body and mind to operate optimally. The National Sleep Foundation showed that most adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily. This amount of sleep is positively associated with health status and longevity. Also, the amount of sleep is a critical component to overall health, and can affect your mood and energy levels.
Importantly, studies on chronic sleep deficiency, which refers to a state of inadequate sleep, have shown that individuals experiencing this disorder have reduced quality of life, and increased healthcare costs due to higher risks for psychiatric and medical issues. Sleep deprivation can also lead to impairments in cognitive performance, which increases the chances of work-related injuries and fatal accidents.
Despite getting the required amount of sleep, of 7 to 9 hours, poor sleepers tended to report increased levels of sleepiness and a decrease in satisfaction with life. Similarly, poor sleep quality has been linked to increased health complaints.
Nonetheless, physical health is not the best indication of the general health of an individual. The World Health Organization has identified three major components of health, including mental, social and physical. Thus, this general concept of health does not only look at physical health, but general well-being and mental health. In recent years, as more sleep studies have been conducted, it seems that both sleep quantity and sleep quality work hand in hand to improving your overall well-being, and feel satisfied and productive enough to take on the day’s challenges after a good night’s rest.
Carney, C. E., Buysse, D. J., Ancoli-Israel, S., Edinger, J. D., Krystal, A. D., Lichstein, K. L., & Morin, C. M. (2012). The Consensus Sleep Diary: Standardizing Prospective Sleep Self-Monitoring. Sleep, 35(2), 287–302. http://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.1642
Luyster, F. S., Strollo, P. J., Zee, P. C., & on behalf of the Boards of Directors of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, J. K. (2012). Sleep: A Health Imperative. Sleep, 35(6), 727–734. http://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.1846
National Sleep Foundation | How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
Pilcher, J. J., Ginter, D. R., & Sadowsky, B. (1997). Sleep quality versus sleep quantity: relationships between sleep and measures of health, well-being and sleepiness in college students. Journal of psychosomatic research, 42(6), 583-596.
The National |The search for sleep quality over quantity