Today I Learned...

Key Takeaways:
D

eep sleep is an essential part of a healthy, balanced life.

It's the time when your body is repairing itself and restoring energy, so it's important that you get enough deep sleep on a regular basis. But how much deep sleep do you really need? And what can you do to increase it?

We'll answer those questions here as well as go over some research-backed ways to get more (or less) deep sleep than usual. We'll also explore some specific benefits of deep sleep, including weight loss and improved memory skills—which might convince you to invest in better rest!

What is deep sleep?

You know what deep sleep feels like. You’re fast asleep and feel totally rested when you wake up. It’s that dreamless state where it’s almost impossible to wake yourself up, even if someone is trying to wake you or if there is an emergency. In other words, it's the most restorative part of the night for your body and brain.

Deep sleep occurs during stage 3 and 4 of non-REM (NREM) sleep—the deepest part of your slumber cycle. This stage is important because it helps repair damage done by stress during the day as well as replenish energy reserves in preparation for waking life.[1] During deep sleep, your body also works to consolidate memories formed throughout the day into long-term storage so they can be recalled later.[2]

Deep sleep is essential for health and well-being.

Deep sleep is the most restful phase of sleep and is essential for good health. During deep sleep, your body repairs itself and restores energy. Deep sleep helps you to feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning.

How much of your sleep is deep sleep?

The average adult has about 20% of their sleep in deep sleep, but some people have more or less. If you’re worried that you might be getting too little deep sleep, there are a few ways to tell:

  • You're waking up feeling groggy and tired
  • You feel like you have trouble concentrating or remembering things
  • You have trouble falling asleep at night
  • You're waking up after a few hours and having trouble getting back to sleep

How to get more deep sleep:

Avoid caffeine late in the day.

Avoid caffeine after 2pm. The half-life of caffeine is 5 to 6 hours, meaning that it takes about this long for your body to metabolize half of it and eliminate it from your system. So even if you’re drinking coffee at 10 in the morning, there could still be some caffeine in your bloodstream by bedtime.

Keep a sleep journal.

If you want to get serious about improving your sleep quality, keep track of how well you slept each night for at least one week (ideally two weeks). This will help identify any patterns that are affecting deep sleep such as eating late or taking medications before bedtime.

Don't drink alcohol before bed.

Alcohol is a depressant, so you're probably feeling it more than you realize. It can cause you to wake up during the night and disrupt your sleep cycle, resulting in less deep sleep.

What's more, alcohol can knock you out at first but then leave you feeling groggy the next morning—a far cry from the rejuvenation we all hope for when we hit the hay.

Exercise daily.

Exercise is one of the best ways to promote deep sleep. It can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed. Exercise also improves your brain function and decreases stress levels—both of which can contribute to better sleep.

Sleep in a dark room.

Darkness is important for your sleep, and the more time you spend sleeping while it’s dark outside, the better you will feel! You can use a sleep mask or blackout curtains to help keep out light from any sources, including streetlights and bright lights from electronics (such as phones).

Avoid bright lights before bedtime.

It’s not just about keeping your room dark; it’s also important to avoid bright screens before bedtime. That means not watching TV or reading on your phone or computer until at least an hour after sunset. A few minutes of exposure to blue light can actually suppress melatonin levels by up to 40%—which makes it harder for you to fall asleep at night!

Get out into natural light during the day.

If you want to get the most out of your deep sleep, you should spend time in natural sunlight during the day. Exposure to sunlight can help you sleep better at night, so getting out into it during the day is a great way to improve your overall quality of rest. Sun exposure during daylight hours helps regulate melatonin production and circadian rhythms, allowing your body to naturally fall asleep at night. If you stay indoors all day without seeing any daylight at all (which is pretty common for many people these days), it may be harder for your body's internal clock to adjust itself correctly when bedtime rolls around...

Deep sleep has a number of benefits, and there are several things you can do to increase it.

Deep sleep is essential for health and well-being. By following these steps, you can ensure that you get the deep sleep that your body needs.

Learn more about how to improve your sleep, check out our class: Sleep Hygiene Basics to Improve Sleep.

Posted 
Sep 6, 2022
 in 
Wellness
 category