Every morning when you wake, you’ll see your daily SleepScore, calculated using data gathered while you slept, along with your hypnogram and a summary of your sleep. While the hypnogram might look intimidating at first glance, it’s been designed to be an intuitive way to understand your own unique night of rest. The hypnogram is your go-to resource to learn what the sleep architecture of your evening looks like. In this article, we’ll lay out what each piece of the hypnogram means, how to interpret your data, and what to do with the data once you understand it.
Breaking Down the Hypnogram
The top chart of your hypnogram is a visualization of your night at a glance. You’ll notice the x-axis lays out the hours of the night, broken up into two-hour increments. Along the y-axis are the four sleep stages we are monitoring, starting with deep sleep at the top, then light, REM, and lastly your sleep onset times and nightly awakenings. The colors of each stage correspond to the detailed breakdown chart located father down. As you look through your hypnogram, you may see you jump around from light, deep, and REM frequently. You may also have woken up several times throughout the night. These are all normal behaviors, but our goal is to help balance your sleep, so your hypnogram reflects healthy amounts of light, deep, and REM sleep, as well as reduced wake times.
In your second hypnogram chart, you’ll see the detailed view of your sleep, broken down by half-hour increments. This is where you’ll gain a greater understanding of what your night looks like and why you might be missing parts of your most important sleep stage.
You may experience large chunks of REM, deep, or light sleep, with intermittent wake ups. You can also see how long it took to fall asleep, and when you woke up in the morning.
How to Interpret My Data
The hypnogram’s purpose is to provide a general sense of your nightly sleep behaviors. For example, if you see a pattern of minimal deep sleep, but an overabundance of light sleep, there are steps you can take to increase your deep sleep. If you notice that you’re waking up frequently throughout the night, you can implement tactics like creating a bedroom ideal for sleep, so you have fewer nightly interruptions. The hypnogram is only part of the equation though and works best when viewed in conjunction with your sleep summary data. Your sleep summary shows you the same data as your hypnogram, except it’s calculated in total hours and minutes spent in each stage. Viewing the two pieces as part of the big picture will help you get a better sense of your nightly rest.
What to do with My Data?
Now that you understand your hypnogram, you might wonder what comes next? This is where the experts at SleepScore Labs come in. We evaluate your nightly data and, through the Sleep Guide, send you detailed insights and actionable advice so you can begin to address your specific sleep issues. We compare your objective nightly sleep data, profile information, daily behaviors, and environmental data against those of other sleepers with a similar profile to evaluate your rest and provide personalized advice and solutions. Because SleepScore Labs does the legwork, so you can sit back and wait for specific advice to be generated.
The point of having the hypnogram available is so you can better understand your unique sleep patterns. Learning about the sleep stages, how we move about them throughout the night, and what our habits are is essential for making meaningful improvements. The more nights you track, and the more Sleep Guide advice you put into action, the more progress you’ll be able to see in your hypnogram. Getting the most out of your SleepScore Max means understanding all the helpful features, including your nightly hypnogram.