How to Measure and Improve Your Sleep Efficiency

Learn practical, proven tips for measuring and enhancing your sleep efficiency to maintain a consistent schedule and relax, unwind, and rest.


Your sleep efficiency is vital to how well you feel when you wake up in the morning and how much quality sleep you experience. Sleep efficiency accounts for so much more than just your sleep and how well you spend time in bed. Do you spend time doom scrolling on social media, or do you cozy up with a good book to enjoy some peaceful moments before resting? 
In this article, we’ll explore how you can measure your sleep efficiency to understand your current situation. We’ll also dive into some ways you can improve your sleep efficiency so you can still enjoy adequate rest and ensure that every morning you spend in bed is productive.  

How to Measure Your Sleep Efficiency 

To measure your sleep efficiency, you’ll have to look at a few specific metrics. Sleep efficiency is the ratio of total sleep time to time spent in bed. For example, let’s say that you sleep seven hours, but you spend ten hours in bed. Your sleep efficiency ratio would be .7 or 70% efficient. It’s hard to achieve a perfect score, but if you want to monitor your sleep efficiency, there are a few ways you can do it: 

  • Keep a Sleep Diary: If you want to track your sleep, the best way to do this is to write down when you get into bed when you fall asleep, and when you wake up. This may be tedious, but it will help you understand your sleep efficiency even more! 

  • Use Sleep-Tracking Devices or Apps: If you want to make it a little easier on yourself, you can always use a sleep-tracking device or app. Some people love to use their Apple Watch, while others may opt for Pillow to see more sleep insights. 

No matter what you choose, you’ll learn more about how you sleep. However, you’ll likely also want to improve your sleep efficiency. Fortunately, there are various ways to enhance your sleep efficiency over time.  

How to Improve Your Sleep Efficiency 

With an understanding of your current sleep efficiency, you can take steps to improve your overall sleep health. From maintaining a consistent schedule to limiting your screen time, here are some practical ways we recommend that will help you make your sleep efficiency even better than before.  

1 - Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule 

It may seem obvious, but the first way to improve your sleep efficiency is to have a consistent schedule. If you go to bed around eleven every night and scroll on your phone until the wee hours of the morning, you’ll likely not have improved results. Set a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it so that your body knows when to wind down, so you’ll always wake up rested.

2 - Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine

To make the most of the time that you spend in bed, make sure you relax before you head into the bedroom. Some people love a soothing bath, while others will opt for some meditation or their favorite non-caffeinated tea.  
Incorporate self-care activities into your sleep routine that you enjoy that also help you unwind. You can even try journaling, a proven way to help you unwind and lessen sleep challenges (Source: ScienceDirect). You’ll feel better, get into bed ready to sleep, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed. This is also a great way to incorporate some self-care into your routine!  

3 - Optimize Your Bedroom 

The last thing you need—if you want more restful sleep—is a bedroom environment that makes you feel like you should be awake. That’s why we recommend closing the blinds, keeping the room cool, and creating an environment that will make you feel at ease. You can even use earplugs and a fan to have air circulation and a quiet setting.  

4 - Say Goodbye to Screens 

As tempting as it can be to scroll through Instagram or TikTok, you might want to put down that phone. Improving your sleep efficiency means limiting distractions that trick your body into thinking it’s time to be alert. Blue light exposure, which comes from various electronic devices, can actually hurt your sleep and make you less likely to fall asleep. This is because it’ll limit melatonin in the body, a hormone that helps you sleep.  

5 - Watch the Caffeine and Alcohol 

If you’re a fellow coffee lover or enjoy the occasional glass of wine, you may want to limit this before heading to bed. You should avoid caffeine from the afternoon onward for better sleep, as it can reduce total sleep time by up to 45 minutes! An article from Sleep Medicine Reviews demonstrated that caffeine should be avoided up to eight hours before bedtime if you want to feel rested.  
When it comes to alcohol, excessive drinking will definitely mess with your sleep routine and your potential to get quality rest. Practice moderation when it comes to alcohol for the best rest, and when it comes to caffeine, avoid it after 2 p.m. if you want to sleep by 10 p.m.! 

6 - Prioritize a Healthy Lifestyle 

Above all else, the most essential tip that we can provide to enhance your sleep efficiency is to practice a healthy lifestyle. That means getting quality exercise regularly, managing your stress, and eating a balanced diet.  
Studies have shown that physical activity significantly influences sleep efficiency, and exercising can mediate sleep efficiency (Source: Brain Science). Whether you get in twenty minutes a day or even just incorporate some healthy stress-relieving practices into your day, your healthy lifestyle will help you feel your best.  

Take Steps to Improve Your Sleep Efficiency Today

With so much that you can do to improve your sleep efficiency, you’ll enjoy quality sleep in no time. From prioritizing a soothing bedtime routine to encouraging healthier daily habits, you’ll rest easier and feel better when you greet the day. We hope this article provides plenty of tips to help you not only sleep better but live a healthier life. What will you do to improve your sleep efficiency in the future?  


Written by

Marie Soukup

Marie Soukup is a seasoned copywriter, editor, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). With years of experience working with brands across diverse industries, Marie is passionate about holistic health and crafting compelling content.

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