Sleep Efficiency and Sleep Health Score

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Everyone preaches the importance of a good night’s sleep. It’s a necessary function that boosts your mood, increases your energy level, and supports your immunity. Despite all of these benefits, though, many people don’t get enough.

Technology is a common culprit behind sleep deprivation, but it can also be part of the solution. Sleep tracking devices are becoming increasingly popular as people strive to get a better handle on their nighttime habits. 

Want to know how well you’re really sleeping? Then it’s time to get to know your sleep health scores.

What is a Sleep Health Score?

Sleep health scores measure the quality of your sleep. Wearables usually track your snooze by monitoring your heart rate and movement throughout the night. Sleep apps, on the other hand, rely on self-reported data and your phone’s built-in sensors, making them less effective.

However your sleep is tracked, most tools will measure the following:

  • Sleep duration: How many hours you slept.
  • Sleep depth: How much time you spent in each stage of sleep (light, deep, and REM).
  • Sleep quality: How many times you woke up during the night and how long it took you to fall asleep.
  • Sleep efficiency: How much time you spent actually sleeping vs. time spent awake in bed.
  • Heart rate: Your average heart rate during sleep.
  • Movement: How much you tossed and turned during the night.
  • Environmental factors: Noise and light levels in your bedroom.
  • Lifestyle factors: Your stress levels, alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, and other things can all influence your sleep.

By charting all of these data points, the tracker gives you a score that is supposed to be a snapshot of the quality of your rest. While each one uses a slightly different algorithm, most sleep health scores are out of 100. In general, a higher score means you slept better, and a lower score means you need to work on your sleep hygiene.

How Do Sleep Scores Help With Sleep?

It’s important to note that pretty much all sleep trackers are marketed as lifestyle devices, not medical-grade tools that can diagnose health conditions. That being said, if they get you more interested in your sleep patterns, it’s a step in the right direction. The more you know about your sleep, the better chance you have of improving it.

In fact, one study found that simply being told that you had better sleep quality actually improves your cognitive performance. But that effect works both ways. Being told you had a bad night’s sleep can lead to poorer performance the next day, even if you actually slept well.

While researchers have found that tracking your sleep may (keyword here) be a valuable tool for improving quality and even managing symptoms of certain conditions, some experts caution that too much focus on sleep health scores can lead to anxiety and even insomnia. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers and start fixating on the perfect score when, in reality, there’s no such thing.

Even scientists can’t agree on what the term “sleep quality” actually means, it’s no wonder people aren’t sure how to interpret their sleep data. So, take sleep health scores with a grain of salt.

How to Use Apps to Sleep Better

Sleep health scores are somewhat of a vanity metric, and the science is still out on how accurate they actually are. But if you’re interested in using a tracker to improve your sleep hygiene, there are a few ways you can leverage the data to make positive changes.

Keep a Consistent Bedtime

One of the most important things you can do for your sleep is to keep a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

You can use a sleep tracker to determine your typical bedtime and even set a reminder for when it’s time to turn in for the night. This will help train your body to get tired at the same time every day, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Of course, life happens, and there will be times when you can’t stick to your usual routine. But try to make your sleep schedule as consistent as possible.

Adjust Your Sleep Length

Again, sleep trackers aren’t perfect, but they can give you a general idea of how long you’re actually sleeping. If you’re regularly falling short of the recommended 7 to 9 hours for healthy adults, you may need to adjust your sleep length.

There are a few ways you can do this. First, you can try going to bed earlier. If that’s not possible, you can also try sleeping in a little later or taking a nap during the day. Just make sure you don’t throw off your regular sleep schedule too much.


Sleep trackers are becoming increasingly popular as people become more interested in their sleep health, but it’s important to remember that these devices aren’t medical devices. 

Leverage the sleep scores they generate to find patterns in your sleep and look for ways to improve your sleep hygiene. But don’t become obsessed with the numbers. Sleep is important, but it’s not a competition. Just do your best to get a good night’s rest, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Source List

Draganich C, et al. (2014). Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning.

Do Sleep Trackers Really Work? (2022).

How Much Sleep Do I Need? (2022).

Kaplan K, et al. (2017). When a gold standard isn’t so golden: Lack of prediction of subjective sleep quality from sleep polysomnography.

Karasneh R, et al. (2022). Smartphone applications for sleep tracking: rating and perceptions about behavioral change among users. ​

Landau, MD. (2019). Do Sleep Apps Really Work?

Zraick K, et al. (2019). That Sleep Tracker Could Make Your Insomnia Worse.