Understanding how to get more deep sleep at night is just as important as nutrition and hydration. Knowing how to get quality sleep is vital when it comes to our health, and can make the biggest impact on brain function as well as emotional stability.
Ensuring that you get good quality sleep, can also help your body work properly, by allowing proper functionality of your organs, including your heart.
Quality sleep patterns can also help with weight management, a healthy immune system, managing stress, and maintaining natural energy levels.
Fact- The average person will sleep 35% of their lifetime
Our goal is to help educate you on why deep sleep is important, and how you can get more of it so that you can feel and perform your best.
Topics that we will be covering include:
What Is Deep Sleep?
Deep sleep is a complete state of rest and disengagement from the environment around you where both your body and mind recuperates.
There are two different types of sleep that occur after our heads hit that pillow, REM Sleep, and Non-REM Sleep.
NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep, is made up of 1-4 stages, depending on how long you sleep. Each stage can last anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes, and stages 2 – 3 can repeat until REM sleep is achieved.
During NREM Sleep, your body will begin to repair tissue, build muscle, strengthen your immune system and build healthybones.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement), occurs approximately 90 minutes after we fall asleep, and it is a period where important psychological changes occur in order to restore energy and proper functionality of our brain. This includes improving the short term and long term memory banks in our brain structure.
This stage of sleep is also responsible for meme
The first period of REM lasts approximately 10 minutes, with every other stage leading up to it which lasts about 1 hour.
REM Is a mixture of encephalic (brain) states of excitement and muscular immobility, which can also be referred to as paradoxical sleep.
During REM Sleep, the psychological changes that typically occur are:
- Accelerated respiration
- Increased brain activity
- Eye movement
- Muscle relaxation
This is the stage in our sleep where we can also experience deep dreams, and experiences of body paralysis.
Deep Sleep Cycle Stages
Our total sleep is made up of 5 stages, going from NREM Sleep to REM Sleep, and all stages are equally important to ensure proper restoration of both our mind and body.
Stage 1 Non-REM
Also known as the cat-nap stage, your eyes are closed during stage 1 and you begin to transition from wakefulness to sleep.
The heart rate decreases and muscles begin to relax as your brain waves begin to slow down, as well as your breathing.
This stage can last between 5 – 10 minutes.
Stage 2 Non- REM
You are still in a light sleep, and the heart rate slows down more, while your body temperature decreases. The brain begins to experience increased wave frequencies called spindles, which go up and down like valleys.
About 45% of the night sleeping is in stage 2. Power-naps are stage 2 phases of sleep and can be taken for 20-30 minutes for an effective boost of energy, without feeling groggy and lazy when you wake up.
Stage 3 -4 Non REM
This is the beginning stage of going into a deep sleep, where the body starts going into full restoration mode. There is no muscle or eye movement, and it is often difficult to wake someone up from this stage.
Stage 3 and 4 occurs 30 – 45 minutes after falling asleep, and this cycle can restart several times before going into the final stage.
This stage starts 90 – 120 minutes after falling asleep and can last between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The brain becomes very active, while blood pressure and heart rate increases. The brain processes, and stores information from the previous day into short term, and long term memory banks.
In this stage, the eyes can often twitch, as well as the body and causes us to experience dreams.
Cool Fact – The average person can dream 10-15 times during the night without even remembering it!
What Are The Benefits Of Deep Sleep
Achieving a deep, quality sleep can offer both physical, psychological and mental benefits, which are critical to achieving optimal health.
Physical Benefits Of Deep Sleep
- Your blood pressure drops, allowing your heart to rest and allowing you to achieve a relaxed state for recovery.
Muscles receive more blood supply, allowing your body to become more oxygenated and promoting proper delivery of nutrients to repair tissue.
Helps restore energy, so that you are recharged.
- Sugars and fats are properly metabolized to help regulate body composition.
- Increases sexual performance
Mental And Psychological benefits Of Deep Sleep
- Helps prevent anxiety and depression.
- Restores mental awareness and focus.
- Both long-term and short-term memory is developed and restored.
- Mental energy is restored and boosted.
- Helps Reduce stress.
- Helps increase sex drive
What Happens When You don't Get Enough Sleep?
A lack of adequate sleep can weaken your immune system, therefore increasing the chances of multiple diseases, including:
- Heart Disease
- Anxiety disorder and depression
- Memory loss
- Vision Loss
Aside from increasing the chances of disease, a lack of sleep can have negative effects on your lifestyle and performance.
Here is a list of 5 ways that a lack of sleep affects most people which are commonly experienced, when not getting a good nights sleep:
Not getting enough rest can prevent your body from recovering and fighting off illness. Researchers have found that your immune system depends on recovery while sleeping. So make sure you get your rest when fighting off a cold or any virus to risk further complications.
Concentration And Memory
Have you ever had a bad day because you were constantly forgetting, or couldn’t focus on certain tasks that before you had no problem with?
Proper sleep can improve focus, and prevent you from losing concentration, which can avoid potential risks which need your full alertness, such as driving or being in a work environment.
Researchers have identified a connection between sleep and the bodies metabolism. A lack of sleep can lower your bodies ability to burn off energy found in sugars and carbohydrates, therefore converting it to fat.
Weight-gain can also be associated with further risk of type 2 diabetes. as well as heart disease.
We all want to look better and feel more confident about ourselves, and there’s nothing worse than waking up to a pimple or having unhealthy looking skin.
When we lack sleep, our body creates more of a stress hormone called Cortisol, which is increased, causing inflammation of your skin.
In both men and women, our hormonal patterns can lose stability, causing dehydration that leads to pimples, and common cases of cystic acne.
You Become Lazy
Energy levels decrease, and so does your performance. This can be accompanied by mental and psychological health. This can result in you lacking productivity and accomplishing tasks that are important to you.
is 6 hours of sleep enough? How Much Do You Really Need?
On average, a person’s NREM (Non-Reactive Eye Movement) sleep is 75%, while REM sleep is 25%.
A person deep sleep phase is between 10 – 15%.
Majority of people think that you require 7-8 hours of sleep, But there is no concrete answer as to how much sleep a person actually needs.
Many factors influence how much sleep is necessary for our mind and body to recover, while fully restoring energy levels and avoiding health risks.:
- Amount of physical activity during the day
- Food Choices and diet
- Stress levels
- Health Determining Factors
- Quality of Environment
Each person is unique and requires different amounts of sleep according to their age, and lifestyle.
Children and anyone under the ages of 25 require more deep sleep so that they may grow and develop, while anyone over the ages of 60 may require less deep sleep.
10 Tips On How To Get More Deep Sleep
Here are some tips that may help you get a better nights sleep:
- Avoid Watching Television or looking at any blue light emitting screen 45min to 1 hr before bedtime.
- Exercise at least 20 – 30 minutes a day, but avoid working out closer to bedtime. The increase of adrenaline and high heart rate can make it difficult to sleep.
- Create a bedtime routine that you can commit to. This will help your inner clock develop a routine that you will have to depend on. You can also track your sleep progress using any fitness watch or health monitor during the night.
- Get rid of any distractions in your bedroom. This can include flashing lights, night lights, noisy devices, and your phone.
- Stick to a clean and healthy diet so that you are taking the nutrients your body needs.
- Stop eating late at night, and finish eating your meal at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.
- Make sure you have a good quality mattress and/or pillow. This can be crucial to achieving a comfortable and sound sleep without waking up at night.
Perform a relaxing activity before bed such as taking a bath, or reading a book.
There are many natural vitamins available that you may be lacking in your diet. Preventing nutritional deficiency will help promote healthy sleep patterns.
- Avoid Drinking drinks with sugar or caffeine before bed and try to stick to water.
6 Clear Signs You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you are like me and have a busy paced lifestyle, you may find it difficult to determine if you are actually getting the sleep your body needs.
Here are some indicators that may determine if you are not getting enough sleep:
You Struggle Following Through With Exercise
In order to follow through with exercising regularly, you will need all the motivation and energy you can come up with. A lacking desire for activities that were once fun and exciting to do can be a clear sign that you are not getting enough sleep.
You Want To Raid The Fridge
Unless you are smoking something that’s green, you may find yourself craving everything that’s readily available to you, primarily foods containing sugars and fats. When tired, you tend not to make the best food choices, and your body will also look for energy elsewhere.
You Forget A Things You Knew Just Minutes Ago
Ever had someone tell you something, or you made a mental note, then minutes goes by and you are completely blank? Our brains can experience cognitive fogginess which prevents our brain from working at its peak performance. This can result in short term memory loss.
You Keep Hitting The Snooze Button
Hitting that snooze button repeatedly clearly indicates that you are taking away more time from your sleep cycle stages. Your body keeps restarting back to stage 1 or 2 when you could have had that extra 30 minutes to achieve proper deep sleep.
Feeling Groggy and then the sleepy first thing is normal, but going through full REM cycle’s of deep sleep should have you energized after 1 hour of waking up. If you are still groggy, give yourself back that 30 – 1 hour of snoozing and then force yourself out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off.
There’s nothing worse than having a great day, and that driver starts honking at you because you waiting 2 seconds to cross the intersection when the lights went green.
It is very easy to get irritated and have low patience capacity when not getting enough sleep, so it is definitely a sign to consider next time you feel like having a fit over the small things.
Your Gaining Weight
We already talked about how not getting enough sleep can lower our metabolism. Signs of weight gain can be a determining factor of not enough sleep, even when sticking to a reasonably healthy diet.
How To Catch Up On Lost Sleep
Many people think that they can catch up on their lost sleep by simply sleeping in one day a week. Our bodies clock has accumulated what we call “sleep Debt”, and that debt needs to get paid overtime.
Below is a plan over a 2 week time period to pay back that sleep debt:
Add 1-2 hours of extra sleep on top of your current sleep schedule. You can do this by going to sleep an hour earlier, and then waking up an hour later if your schedule permits. If not, just go to bed 2 hours early.
Now you can take 1 hour off and continue your regular routine as you did before while making sure you don’t lose the sleep you need to perform in your day.
Be sure to implement some of the 10 tricks on how to get more deep sleep that was listed earlier on in this article, as well as identifying the 6 signs of not getting enough sleep.
If you continue to struggle to find solutions on how to achieve a better deep sleep, there could be possibilities that you have some form of a sleep disorder.
Consult a doctor if the problems persist and become severe where you experience sleep deprivation.
Daniel has a dedicated history and passion for health and wellness. His journey began when he served in the Canadian Forces while pursuing bodybuilding for a hobby. Through several years he learned about what it takes to achieve a healthy lifestyle holistically and now desires to help others get on track.