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What good sleep looks like

The research behind good sleep

There are scientific ways of measuring and observing sleep patterns. On this page, sleep expert Amy De LaCour explores one method of measuring sleep - Sleep Frequency Index.

How we measure sleep

The quality and depth of sleep can be measured scientifically. One such method is to make a record of the brain-waves and these can be calculated using the Sleep Frequency Index (SFx).

  • An SFx of 100% is when you are wide awake
  • SFx of around 95% is when you start to feel drowsy (eg. after a good lunch)
  • SFx of 85 to 90% is when you are in the initial stages of sleep
  • SFx 74% and below is when you are in DEEP SLEEP

What good sleep looks like

We can use this Sleep Frequency Index to assess the quality of sleep a person is experiencing.

With good sleep, there is a regular rise and fall in SFx in cycles of around 90 minutes.

The low dips in frequency reflect the periods in which a person is in deep sleep. The higher peaks represent REM sleep – the period of sleep in which we experience dreams. As you can see below, good sleep will cycle between these stages without the individual waking.


What poor sleep looks like

When one is sleeping poorly, the rise and fall of SFx is not as regular.

As you can see in the image below, less time is spent below the 74% mark - in deep sleep. In this graph, the individual regularly wakes up during the night, instead of enjoying a cycle of deep sleep and REM sleep.

#A.Vogel Talks Sleep

Join experts Eileen Durward and Alison Cullen in the beautiful A.Vogel garden as they talk about sleep and why it is the one remedy we cannot do without. Discover their tips on how to improve your sleep quality including lifestyle changes and how herbs such as Hops and Valerian can help promote a better night’s sleep.


Leave your feedback

I would love to hear what you thought of the information you have read on this page. Just leave your comment below, thanks Amy.

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