Quantity v Quality – the ageless debate…

If you had to choose between quantity or quality of sleep, what would be your pick?

Those who are screwing up their face in confusion are probably thinking… “well, you need both”. You might be in bed for a long time but if the sleep isn’t of sufficient quality, then what’s the point? Or if you are successfully cycling through your sleep cycles, but only get through two when you need five, then again… what’s the point?

(I hope you don’t look TOO much like this. Given the question is a trick one – it’s not worth the social exclusion.)

This information is from the American National Sleep Foundation and explains the need for quantity AND quality when it comes to sleep.

Sleep Quantity and Quality Count

Getting enough continuous quality sleep contributes to how we feel and perform the next day, but also has a huge impact on the overall quality of our lives. Getting enough sleep refers to the amount of sleep you need to not feel sleepy the next day. If sleepiness interferes with or makes it difficult to do your daily activities, you probably need more sleep. Although sleep experts generally recommend an average of 7-9 hours per night, some people can get along with less while others need as much as ten hours to feel alert the next day. Sleep requirements vary over the life cycle. Newborns and infants need a lot of sleep and have several periods of sleep throughout a 24-hour time period. Naps are important to them as well as to toddlers who may nap up to the age of 5. As children enter adolescence, their sleep patterns shift to a later sleep-wake cycle, but they still need around 9 hours of sleep. Throughout adulthood, even as we get older, we need 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep patterns may change, but the need for sleep remains the same.

Quantity of Sleep – Sleep Deprivation has Consequences

Planning your day so that you allow enough time to sleep is essential to your overall well-being and quality of life. Such planning includes allowing enough time to awaken naturally – without an alarm clock – so you get as much sleep as you need! According to the 2002 poll, over 80% of American adults believe that not getting enough sleep leads to poor performance at work, risk for injury and poor health, and difficulty getting along with others. Often, people become irritable due to lack of sleep, resulting in serious consequences. Studies show that lack of sleep leads to problems completing a task, concentrating, making decisions and unsafe actions. Recent research suggests that sleep deprivation impacts on aging and diabetes. Insufficient sleep may also make it difficult to exercise and can reduce the benefit of hormones released during sleep. Just as compelling are the serious consequences of sleep deprivation that lead to approximately 100,000 sleep-related vehicle crashes each year and result in 1,500 deaths.


So how did you sleep last night? Was the quality and quantity of your sleep sufficient to make sure you functioned well today?

If not, what would have helped? Just asking………

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