You might know that it's crucial for adults to sleep 7-9 hours at night. But what do you know about the quality of sleep during these hours?
The point is that not only does the length of your dreaming make sense but its depth is equally important.
Though it seems like you fall asleep at night, then wake up in the morning and that's it. In reality, you go through several cycles and their stages among which are a REM (rapid eye movement) stage and a non-REM stage that includes deep sleep.
The latter defines how refreshed and energized you will feel in the morning.
Why is deep sleep important and how can you get more of it? Let’s consider these questions today.
What is deep sleep and what are its traits and functions?
What is deep sleep?
It’s a slow-wave stage during which your heart rate and breathing become slower and your body starts to restore and heal itself. Moreover, during deep sleep delta waves improve your declarative memory and your ability to store and recall information.
Apart from helping your brain function properly, the slow-wave stage is the moment when your cells regenerate, and your immune system strengthens, growth hormones are released actively and injuries are being healed. Thus, this is an important stage when you grow and recuperate.
When talking about REM stage vs Deep sleep stage, unlike the former one, deep sleep is difficult to interrupt. If for some reason you do wake up during this stage, you feel exhausted, disorientated, and irritated.
What are some factors that affect deep sleep?
Deep dreaming is a natural stage that happens to you regardless of your effort.
If you figure out what harms your rest — you will be able to improve its quality.
Some factors include:
Stress makes the autonomic nervous system release adrenaline and cortisol. This results in an increased heart rate and active blood circulation.
Your body is ready to take action to "survive", not to go to bed. Such a condition is also called the "fight-or-flight" response.
2. Caffeine intake in the evening
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects sleep and reduces the length of the slow-wave stage. If you can’t cope with your daily tasks without stimulation, better use solutions that won’t affect your dreaming, like FeelZing.
It’s a neurostimulation patch that stimulates your nervous system with electric impulses and doesn't provoke anxiety or overexcitement, and thus doesn’t affect your rest.
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3. Exercise close to bedtime
An active workout before bedtime is not recommended because your nervous system can be overstimulated and your heart rate becomes too fast.
As a result, it becomes hard to fall asleep because you are overexcited and need more time to calm down. If you can’t avoid exercises before bed, let it be a slow-pace activity, e.g. yoga.
4. Using a smartphone before bedtime
The blue light that smartphones and other gadgets emit reduces the amount of produced melatonin (a sleep hormone). Because of that, it might be hard for you to fall asleep and then wake up in the morning. It is recommended to put your cell phone aside at least one hour before you go to bed.
5. Sleep disorders
Certain conditions may affect your deep sleep stage significantly. For example, if you suffer from apnea, you might stop breathing while you sleep. If you've got restless legs syndrome, you won't get quality sleep either.
And, of course, in cases of insomnia, you have problems not only with the slow-wave stage but with the whole cycle.
6. Not enough oxygen in the room
When you are dreaming, the level of carbon dioxide rises, and that may affect your sleep, so your room should be well aired.
Fresh and cool air helps your body reach the optimal temperature which lowers when you fall asleep.
Improve airflow in your bedroom to awaken less at night and sleep better.
How many hours of deep sleep do you need?
On average, adults should sleep 7-9 hours each night. The amount of slow-wave dreaming should be at least 1.6 hours for you to feel refreshed and well-rested.
Taking into account the fact that growth and development processes are going on during the deep stage, children and young people require more of it — approximately 2.5 hours.
With age, the necessity for the slow-wave stage decreases so you need less deep dreaming but it is still crucially important for your health.
So make sure you get deep sleep every night and follow specific advice on how to improve its quality by avoiding factors that affect it.
What happens when you don’t get enough deep sleep?
If you don't get enough deep dreaming, first of all, you don't get enough rest. During the deep stage, your brain sorts out everything that happens during the day. So, when your slow-wave stage is short or completely absent, your mind can't refresh and get in order.A lack of deep sleep results in fatigue, irritation, increased anxiety, and even depression. You may also experience the following conditions:
- inability to focus
- hunger you can't fulfill
- decreased energy level
- overall deterioration of your mental and physical health
Bad sleep from time to time will make you feel tired during the day but won't seriously affect your health. However, constant sleep deprivation may cause depression, obesity, increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
Apart from that, if you don't get enough rest at night it might be hard for you to concentrate and make decisions during the day.
How to get more deep sleep
Here are some tips on how to sleep deeply more and feel well-rested again:
- don’t consume caffeine in the evening (you can replace it with FeelZing)
- do exercises every day, avoid strenuous physical activity before you go to bed
- use heat: go to a sauna or take a hot tub in the evening
- eat healthily giving priority to fiber and protein and avoiding too much fat and sugar
- try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
- don’t drink alcohol at night
- air the room you rest in and make sure the temperature is between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit
You can also meditate or take a relaxing walk before going to bed if you are fond of such activities. But it will be enough to follow the tips mentioned above to start sleeping better soon.
How to increase deep sleep
One of the key pieces of advice is very simple but still effective: if you want to sleep better you should just start sleeping more.
Of course, it takes time, so don't expect immediate results. Try to add at least 30 minutes a night to your dreaming time. Go to bed when you feel drowsy and wake up with no alarm clock — let your body decide how much time it needs to rest.
You might sleep for 10 hours or more because your body is restoring itself at its own pace. Then everything will get back to normal.
You need to make going to bed a ritual, a routine that can’t be skipped.
One more important tip — if you suffer from certain disorders, visit a doctor. Some problems can only be solved with the help of a medical specialist, so don't fight bad sleep on your own.
The deep stage is crucial for our well-being. If you want to have enough energy during the day, be focused and make decisions with a clear mind, you must take care of your dreaming time.
In order to understand how you rest at night and monitor the stages you undergo, you may use specific trackers that show how much deep sleep you get at night.
Don’t underestimate the importance of deep sleep and try to avoid stimulants that might affect your rest.
If you live a hectic life and you need an additional source of energy, better choose safe and simple ones like the FeelZing energy patch. It gives you calm energy and alertness without anxiety and overexcitement.
Sleep tight every night!