SleepThe US National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has released a list of key indicators that it believes are indicative of good sleep quality.

The panel of experts behind the findings hope the results will help technology companies develop more advanced devices that help people interpret their sleep patterns. 

They key determinants of quality sleep include:

  • Sleeping more time while in bed (at least 85% of the total time)
  • Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
  • Waking up no more than once per night
  • Being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep.


The findings, based on rounds of consensus voting by a panel of experts, have since been endorsed by the American Association of Anatomists, American Academy of Neurology, American Physiological Society, Gerontological Society of America, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Society for Research of Human Development, and Society for Women’s Health Research.

The announcement follows on from the NSF’s recent Sleep Health Index, which revealed that as many as 27% of people take longer than 30 minutes, on average, to fall asleep.  The report also highlights areas where research is needed to identify and further delineate additional indicators of good sleep quality across age groups.

Maurice Ohayon, MD, DSc, PhD, Director of the Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center, said: “In the past, we defined sleep by its negative outcomes including sleep dissatisfaction, which were useful for identifying underlying pathology. Clearly this is not the whole story.  With this initiative, we are now on a better course towards defining sleep health.” 

The findings were published in the NSF’s journal Sleep Health.