Sleep quantity is the amount of sleep you get each night. On the other hand, sleep quality is how healthy your rest is.
Most people focus on getting many hours of sleep and forget that sleep quality is equally important.
Similarly, people struggling with sleepiness focus more on improving the quantity of their sleeping, forgetting that sleep quality tips such as the use of Mela cooling bed sheets or white machines in the bedroom can improve both the quantity and quality of their sleep.
What Is Quantity Sleep?
Sleep quantity, as mentioned earlier, is the number of hours you spend sleeping each night.
The average person needs seven to nine hours of sleep daily.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further breaks down the sleep requirements for different age groups, as shown below.
- 0-3 months – Newborns should get 14 to 17 hours of sleep every 24 hours
- 4-12 months – Infants should get 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours
- 1-2 years – Toddlers need 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours
- 3-5 years – Preschoolers should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours
- 6-12 years – School going children of this age should get 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours
- 13-18 years – Teenagers ought to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours
- 18-64 years – Adults in this age group should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night
- 65 years and above – Adults who are in this age group should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night
What Is Quality Sleep?
Sleep quality refers to how healthy your sleep is. Quality sleep is described in terms of different elements, including:
Sleep onset latency – This is how fast you fall asleep. Healthy adults shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep
Sleep continuity – This is how soundly you sleep. Quality sleep is characterized by no more than one awakening each night
Sleep cycles – This element considers if you successfully pass through the different sleep cycles and stages, which is necessary for achieving healthy rest.
Sleep timing – This determines if your sleep pattern matches your body’s circadian rhythm
Sleep efficiency – How much time do you spend trying to get sleep, and what time do you spend sleeping.
Alertness – Can you stay alert during waking hours? Can you perform your duties effectively during the day without feeling tired or drowsy?
Sleep satisfaction levels – This element considers if you feel well-rested after a night’s sleep
Importance of Quantity and Quality Sleep
Getting enough healthy sleep is just as important as eating a healthy diet or getting enough exercise. The quality and quantity of your sleep have a profound effect on your physical and mental health.
Here are the benefits of getting quantity and quality sleep.
1. Improves Alertness
Getting ample rest improves your focus and thought process.
When you’re sleep-deprived, you find it harder to concentrate and pay attention. This can negatively affect your ability to perform everyday tasks that you would naturally do with ease.
2. Better Judgment
Sleepiness makes it difficult for you to assess behavior and make decisions.
Research shows sleep-deprived individuals are likely to make impulsive, risky decisions. Drowsiness from lack of sleep further slows down your reaction time, leading to accidents.
3. Immune System Functioning
Lack of enough sleep can make you sick.
When you’re asleep, your body produces cytokines – protective proteins that help fight infections. Lack of sleep decreases the production of cytokines and other infection-fighting antibodies.
Additionally, poor sleep patterns increase your risk of suffering from diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
When you’re sleep-deprived, your focus is impaired, making it harder for you to understand new information.
Sleepiness also affects students’ memory capacity, making it harder for them to retain what they’re taught.
Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep is essential. However, you shouldn’t forget to improve the quality of your sleep, as this will ensure you get up well-rested.