Understanding Deep Sleep
When you sleep, you go through two stages: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). In NREM, the body goes through four stages. Deep sleep occurs in stages three and four. Your brain waves, heartbeat, and breathing rate become the slowest. Moreover, the muscles relax, and it becomes difficult to be woken up even with the loudest noise. The body disengages itself entirely from the environment.
It allows the body to refresh and repair itself, particularly the brain. This boosts physical and mental health. What’s more, one study indicates that deep sleep is vital for restoring your brain’s capability to learn.
Why Does Deep Sleep Matter?
Getting deep sleep is incredibly important, just like eating a nutritious meal or exercising. It would help if you get more deep sleep because of the following health benefits:
- It promotes memory consolidation and learning – Deep sleep is also known as “sleep-dependent memory processing.” It may improve short-term and long-term memory combination and learning.
Supports growth and cell regeneration – During deep sleep, the pituitary glands produce human growth hormones, enabling the body to repair muscles and tissues. Also, this promotes cell regeneration.
Deep sleep boosts the immune system – Research shows that deep sleep might strengthen the immune system. Get more deep sleep, and support your body’s ability to fight infection, minimize inflammation, and enhance the effectiveness of vaccines.
- It restores your energy – With a good night’s slumber, you should wake up less tired. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels increase during deep sleep. Also, a study suggests that you conserve more energy during sleep. You will be more energetic upon waking up.
What Amount Of Deep Sleep Is Required?
The amount of deep sleep one needs depends on age, and the total amount of sleep one has each night. Generally, seven to nine hours of sleep is enough to experience deep sleep’s rejuvenating and relaxing benefits. NREM accounts for about 75% of your sleep, whereas REM accounts for 25%.
Out of this, 13-23% is spent in deep sleep. For instance, if you sleep for seven hours every night, you spend 55-97 minutes in a deep sleep. Besides, deep sleep decreases as one ages. If you are 30 years and below, you may enjoy 2 hours of deep sleep every night. However, if you are over 65 years, you might get 30 minutes or none at all.
To some extent, the body self-controls the amount of deep sleep. For example, if you are sleep deprived or you don’t experience quality sleep, you might take more time in deep sleep.
15 Tips For Improved Deep Sleep
Though it might be difficult to control factors that interfere with your deep sleep, the following are tips on how to increase deep sleep for a more energized tomorrow:
1. Exercise Regularly
Thirty minutes of exercise daily five days per week may help you get more deep sleep by working your muscles and increasing your heart rate. Thirty minutes of doing what you like, including light exercises like jogging, walking, and yoga, might do the trick.
2. Don’t Work Out Right Before Bedtime
Are you worried about how to increase deep sleep? Exercise! Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which keep you awake. After a workout, your body cools down, and the temperature drops down. This brings a relaxing feeling. Nonetheless, exercising just before going to bed may overstimulate the production of endorphins, making it difficult to wind down. It’s recommendable to exercise in the morning or afternoon.
3. Avoid Stress
Solve your worries or concerns before going to bed. It might assist you to get more deep sleep. Stress management may help. Begin with the basics like getting organized, setting priorities, and assigning duties. Besides, meditation might also lower anxiety.
4. Be Careful with Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that may make it difficult for you to sleep or stay asleep. Avoid taking caffeine seven or fewer hours before bedtime. Stick to drinks like warm milk and chamomile that can increase deep sleep. Besides, research demonstrates that caffeine might affect sleep quality.
5. Practice Pre-Bed Warm-Up
Take some time before you go to bed to warm up your body. This might aid in preparing you for a night’s slumber. In addition, a pre-bed warm-up may assist you to fall asleep faster, a tip on how to increase deep sleep.
6. Try Pink Noise
Sound contributes to your capability to sleep and stay asleep. If your surroundings are noisy, listening to pink or white noise might help you block the sounds that stop you from falling or staying asleep. Pink noise represents relaxing sounds such as beach waves hitting a beach or steady raindrops. Additionally, these sounds might enhance your memory and increase REM sleep.
7. Try Hypnosis Before Bedtime
Hypnosis is a state of mindfulness that intensely targets a particular idea or image. During this state, brain activity changes and becomes receptive to new suggestions. Hypnotherapy conveys those ideas during hypnosis to positively influence one’s actions and thoughts. It might encourage one to feel less anxious about falling asleep or follow a more regular sleep schedule. You may utilize smartphone apps, audio recordings, and videos to do self-hypnosis. If you are wondering how to increase deep sleep, try hypnosis.
8. Consume More Fiber
Eating more fiber doesn’t only aid in weight loss but may help you get more deep sleep. Besides eating a balanced diet, add more fiber-rich foods such as whole grains to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
9. Go to Bed Early
Going to bed early enough ensures you have quality time to go through the stages of sleep. It may increase rem sleep and improve your sleep quality.
In addition, create a consistent nighttime routine to unwind from the day. A schedule may involve watching a movie, reading a book, or taking a bath. Besides, a warm bath an hour before bedtime might allow you to cool down and is a crucial tip on how to increase deep sleep.
10. Pee Before Going to Bed
It is vital to pee before going to bed to avoid waking up in the middle of your slumber to go the bathroom. Emptying your bladder before getting to bed might increase REM sleep.
11. Make Love
If you don’t know how to increase deep sleep, research shows that having sex with your lover before sleeping may promote the quality of your sleep. Hormones released during sex like dopamine, oxytocin, and progesterone help you relax and sleep deeply.
12. Increase Magnesium Intake
Research demonstrates that magnesium helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system that enables you to calm down and relax. In return, your body and brain relax, helping you sleep and stay asleep. You may get magnesium from cereals, green vegetables, and fruits.
13. Give Acupuncture A Try
Being pierced by needles all over your body isn’t the best way to relax. However, studies show that it may enhance sleep and increase rem sleep.
14. Avoid Distractions
Turn off electronic gadgets such as cell phones and laptops. What’s more? Avoid too much blue light exposure before going to bed as it can interfere with the hormone that signals the brain that it’s time to lay down. Nonetheless, put your phone on night mode. Also, if you can make your bedroom a gadget-free zone, the better. It has proven to be a good way how to increase deep sleep. Moreover, make your bedroom dark and cool for quality sleep.
15. Put On An Eye Mask to Keep the Light Away
Like sound, light may also impact the quality of sleep you get. If you work the night shift and have to get your ZZZs in the day, wear an eye mask. Besides, using eye masks may increase rem sleep and boost melatonin levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Caffeine intake hours before bedtime, lack of exercise, sleep disorders, and distractions may affect deep sleep.
There is no specific amount of deep sleep that is ideal. For people below 30 years, you may experience two hours of deep sleep. Sixty-five years and above, individuals might have thirty minutes or none.
To get more deep sleep, have a bedtime routine, have sex, avoid distractions during sleeping time. In addition, wear an eye mask, listen to pink noise, and increase magnesium intake.
Also, to increase deep sleep go to bed early, exercise regularly but not before bedtime, and avoid alcohol before sleeping time.
Melatonin is a hormone that the body produces in response to darkness. It controls day and night cycles. Melatonin may help you fall asleep faster and increase deep sleep. Besides, we have melatonin supplements and aids that may help those who can't produce enough melatonin on their own. The supplements decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, reduce anxiety before bedtime, and boost deep sleep.
Try acupuncture, hypnosis, exercise, and make your bedroom cool and dark to increase deep sleep. Also, go to bed early, take a warm bath before bedtime, consume more fiber, and avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime.
Deep sleep or slow-wave sleep defines stages three and four of sleep. In this phase, your breathing and heart rate are at their lowest. Additionally, your brain waves decrease, and muscles relax. This stage allows your body to restore itself and strengthens the immune function.
Getting enough deep sleep makes us wake up refreshed and energetic, ready to deal with the day’s hustles. As you age, the need for deep sleep reduces, as your tissues are not growing and developing like the young ones. Luckily, there are various ways how to increase deep sleep.