New study shows sleep quality is more important than sleep duration

Sleep quality may be more important than the recommended seven to nine hours a night. Those who fall asleep within 15 minutes and don’t wake up too often report a better quality of life. This was measured by satisfaction, well-being, happiness, subjective health, and work stress.

The researchers say: “While it matters when we sleep and how long we sleep, people with better quality sleep also have a better quality of life, regardless of the time and duration of sleep.”

Experts from Charles University in Prague and the Czech Academy of Sciences followed 4,253 residents of the Czech Republic for three years, with adults taking surveys in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, also looked at “social jet lag,” when work and social commitments conflict with the body’s circadian clock.

This can happen when you go to bed late and wake up later on weekends.

The team found that sleep quality is associated with health and happiness, while work stress is associated with jet lag.

The researchers concluded that sleep duration and the difference between workdays and weekends “are not as important for quality of life as what counts as a good night’s sleep.”

Professor Neil Walsh of Liverpool’s John Moores University welcomed the results, but said “it is not clear whether poor sleep reduces quality of life, or whether poor quality of life leads to worse sleep quality.”

The sports scientist and sleep expert said studies are needed “in a larger population, over a longer period of time, and ideally with more objective measures of sleep and clinical health outcomes.”

“Measures in this study were self-reported.”

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