The basics of sleep

By now, you know good sleep is key to your health, performance and alertness. But what is good sleep?

Firstly, most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day to function optimally.

And, in addition to the quantity of sleep you get, there are other factors that influence your fatigue including:

  1. Sleep quality: sleeping soundly with few interruptions. If you wake up a lot, you’ll be more fatigued the next day.

  2. Sleep schedule consistency: Going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day makes it easier to get enough sleep. Otherwise, your body’s natural rhythms fall out of sync. This is hard for those with irregular work schedules, but it’s important to be consistent with your sleep whenever you can.

It’s worth repeating that the effects of sleep on your fatigue and well-being add up. One great sleep won’t correct a week of poor overall sleep.
   

Checking your sleep with the Readiband app

What does all this mean?

In this case, 6hr 00min represents an estimate of the total hours you most recently slept. 

The vertical grey lines on the left and right represent wrist movement. The taller the line, the more active your wrist was.

The orange blocks indicate when the Readiband believes you were sleeping, and highlights the moment you fell asleep (sleep onset) and when you woke up.  

The gaps in the orange blocks represent awakenings, or moments longer than 5 minutes where movement suggests you were awake. These gaps are estimates, and for any given sleep, it’s common to see more or less in the app than you recall.

Generally speaking, fewer awakenings means your sleep is more efficient and more restorative. On the other hand, a lot of awakenings suggests your sleep is broken up and less restorative. If you have a lot of awakenings, do you know why?
   

Common questions about estimating sleep

 

Next

Fatigue: how it’s measured and its impact on performance (3 of 6)

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