“You’re not healthy, unless your sleep is healthy.”  (Dr. William C. Dement, 1928 – 2020, American pioneer of Sleep Medicine).

Sleep is the most important foundation of the three pillars of health.

Yet good sleep health has only recently been defined, and now has characteristics similar to healthy diet and healthy exercise, which have been well understood for many years.

Good Sleep Health is defined by the following six dimensions:


RegUlarity:  Make sure you have a regular time to bed and time out of bed every day, weekends included.  Your rise time should be no more that five minutes after waking.  You have an ‘appointment’ with Sleep every night – and morning.

Satisfaction:  With regular, good quality sleep you should feel satisfied with your sleep – just like a good healthy meal or exercise routine.

Alertness:  After a good night’s sleep, you should maintain attentive wakefulness during the day, without unwanted daytime sleepiness, regardless of where you are or what you do each day; work, home, study, or any meaningful activity.

Timing:  As humans, we have evolved over thousands of years to sleep at night, and be active by day.  Any crossover of sleep between night and day (such as shift work) is less than ideal.

Efficiency:  We all should have the ability to sleep for a large percentage of time spent in bed (85-90%), indicated by ease of falling asleep and returning to sleep after brief awakenings during the night.  If you are awake in bed, your sleep efficiency if affected.

Duration:  The normal duration of sleep in normal, health adults is between 7 and 9 hours.  Any less or more may indicate a health problem, either mental or physical.

So, using an acronym, and looking down the list, RU SATED ?

Can you tick each of the above sleep health dimensions with a ‘yes’?

about the SCIENCE of SLEEP >