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Sleep science

Quantity vs quality of sleep

Is it quantity or quality of sleep that’s important?

I often get GP referrals and the letters will say something like, “John has had three hours of sleep”.

There’s a real emphasis on the quantity of sleep the patient is getting and whether I can improve it. Actually, I try to get people to understand that it’s much more about the quality of sleep.

Are you dealing with poor sleep?

If you don’t even know whether you’re asleep or awake, or you don’t really know how good that sleep feels. It probably means you’re  suffering from poor quality sleep.

There is no way we can increase the duration and quantity of your sleep until we have dealt with the sleep you’re actually getting. So, in the first instance, quality sleep is much more important than quantity of sleep.