Sleep duration is how long you sleep in a 24-hour period. Duration requirements vary across the lifespan. For adults, sleeping on average between 7-9 hours of sleep each night is the optimal duration for lowering the risk of diseases, accidents and premature death.
Sleep timing is when you sleep in a 24-hour period. We are all born with a particular sleep-wake rhythm, also called your circadian rhythm. Some people are morning types while others are evening types. Knowing which circadian type you naturally exhibit is helpful in understanding your ideal sleep-wake time.
Sleep quality is how well you sleep in a 24-hour period. Frequent, minor disruptions to our sleep can reduce the amount of deep sleep or REM sleep, both of which are important for the restorative functions described earlier. For example, sleep apnea is a condition where breathing issues cause frequent disruptions to sleep that the person is not aware of. This leads to poor sleep quality and difficulty functioning at your best
While we all know what too little sleep feels like, when it comes to sleep, more is not always better. Sleeping too little (< 6 hours) or too much (> 8 hours) is associated with an increased risk of death. It’s more about hitting a “sweet spot” of regular sleep duration rather than “more is better.”
Optimizing DTQ provides the most comprehensive way to support peak sleep health. At the beginning of your sleep health journey, it is best to establish a baseline DTQ and develop sustainable positive sleep habits to improve this. You can also track your DTQ over time as you work on making changes.