Your sleep score is affected by seven sleep contributors, which are displayed as horizontal bars in the Oura app's sleep view.
Total sleep refers to the total amount of time you spend in light, REM and deep sleep. The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person. As a general rule, the younger you are, the more sleep you need. Most adults need 7-9 hours to perform well and stay healthy.
Getting a good amount of sleep for your age will keep your total Sleep time in balance, approximately at 80%. The contributor bar will be at 100% when your Total Sleep time reaches 9 hours.
Sleep efficiency is a measurement of your sleep quality. It's the percentage of time you actually spend asleep after going to bed. For adults, a generally accepted cut-off score for good Sleep Efficiency is 85%. It's common for Sleep Efficiency to slightly decrease with age. For a maximum positive contribution to your Sleep Score, your Sleep Efficiency needs to be 95%. You'll see a lowered Sleep Score if it has taken more than 20 minutes for you to fall asleep, or if you experience one long or multiple shorter wake-ups during the night.
Sleep disturbances caused by wake-ups and restless time can have a big impact on your sleep quality and daytime cognitive performance. Restless sleep is less restorative than uninterrupted sleep, and it's usually the cause of daytime sleepiness.
Disturbances can be caused by various different factors, such as stress, noise, partners, pets or different foods. To improve your chances of getting restful sleep:
- Optimize your sleep environment by making sure your mattress is comfortable and your bedroom is cool (≈ 65 °F/18 °C), quiet and dark.
- Avoid spicy, heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime, and caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- While regular physical activity can make your sleep more restful, try to complete exercise at least 1-2 h before bedtime.
- Help your brain and body to wind down by disconnecting from bright screens and dimming bright lights 1-2 h before going to sleep.
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep plays an essential role in re-energizing your mind and your body, making it an important contributor to your sleep quality. REM is associated with dreaming, memory consolidation, learning and creativity. Making up anywhere between 5-50% of your total sleep time, the amount of REM can vary significantly between nights and individuals. On average REM counts for 20-25% (1,5h - 2h) of total sleep time for adults, and it usually decreases with age. REM is regulated by circadian rhythms, i.e. your body clock. Getting a full night's sleep, sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine, alcohol or other stimulants in the evening may increase your chances of getting more REM.
Deep sleep is the most restorative and rejuvenating sleep stage, enabling muscle growth and repair. When you're in deep sleep, your blood pressure drops, heart and breathing rates are regular, arm and leg muscles are relaxed and you're very difficult to awaken. Varying significantly between nights and individuals, deep sleep can make up anywhere between 0-35% of your total sleep time. On average adults spend 15-20% of their total sleep time in deep sleep, the percentage usually decreasing with age.
Regular physical activity, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, avoiding heavy meals before bed and long naps and caffeine in the afternoon can improve your chances of getting more deep sleep.
Sleep latency is the time it takes for you to fall asleep. Ideally falling asleep shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes. Falling asleep immediately (in less than 5 minutes) can be a sign that you're not getting enough sleep for your needs. If you have trouble falling asleep, try getting out of bed and doing something relaxing, ideally in low light conditions, until you feel sleepy again.
Your sleep timing is an important contributor to your sleep quality and daytime performance. Most of your body’s essential processes such as your body temperature, hormone release and hunger run in 24-hour cycles called circadian rhythms. Sleeping during the night and staying awake and active during the day can help keep these internal rhythms in balance, and helps you perform better throughout the day.
Oura considers your sleep timing to be optimal and aligned with the sun when the midpoint of your sleep falls between midnight and 3 am, allowing some variability for morning and evening types. A timing significantly earlier or later can lower your sleep score.
- How to Measure Sleep | Get to Know the Oura Sleep Score
- Sleep Better Tonight: 5 Ways How to Get More Deep Sleep