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Lauri Leadley, Clinical Sleep Educator, President of Valley Sleep Center

By Lauri Leadley

The terms “sleep satisfaction” and “sleep quality” sound similar, but they are different measurements of how you sleep at night.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep quality considers the aspects of sleep that are measured objectively. It considers things like how long it takes you to fall asleep at night, how many times you wake up in the night and how it physically impacts your wakeful life. Sleep satisfaction is more subjective. It is measured more on the way a person feels about the sleep they had rather than the physical effects it had on them.

The NSF explains that sleep quality often correlates with underlying health issues and sleep disorders, whereas sleep satisfaction does not. For example, a person who has been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome (a condition which makes it difficult to get a full night’s sleep) may still find that they are satisfied with the sleep they get. Yet, a person who was able to sleep through the night who has been feeling anxious may feel less satisfied.

sleep satisfaction vs sleep quality

While sleep satisfaction isn’t measured on how your sleep impacts you physically, there are external, physical factors that could affect it, including:

  • Room temperature
  • Pillow and mattress comfort
  • Noise and light exposure

The better these aspects are managed, the higher a person’s sleep satisfaction. Caffeine consumption and napping are factors’ that impact sleep quality that are not considered when measuring sleep satisfaction. Even though they influence the act of sleeping at night, they don’t really reflect on the satisfaction someone feels about it. Say you drink a cup of coffee too late in the day, that might make it so you fall asleep later, but it won’t always affect the satisfaction you feel from it.

Why Measuring Sleep Satisfaction Matters

The NSF states that measuring sleep satisfaction can be a useful tool for doctors and sleep specialists. It can be used in sleep studies to record feelings about sleep in those who don’t suffer from a sleep disorder but would still like to get better sleep. For example, it is a good measurement to use amongst the elderly and post-partum women, two groups of people who traditionally report being unsatisfied with their sleep but don’t suffer from a specific disorder. Sleep satisfaction will paint a larger picture of a patient’s overall health and wellbeing for their doctors, which can help with their treatment and care.

Getting quality sleep and feeling satisfied with the sleep you get are both important to living a healthy and productive life. If you feel as though you are not getting satisfactory and/or quality sleep at night, it is highly recommended that you speak to your doctor and see a sleep specialist.

Valley Sleep Center has five convenient Valley locations filled with people who are committed to helping you get your sleep health on the right track. Call (480) 830-3900 or schedule your appointment online today.