We all want to sleep better, but there’s one part of sleep that’s even more crucial to our overall health – deep sleep.
Deep sleep is the elusive stage of sleep when your brain waves are at their lowest frequency, your muscles relax, and your breathing slows. Also known as delta wave sleep, it comes at the end of NREM sleep. Deep sleep is so important because it’s the most restorative part of the night. During this time, energy levels recharge, body tissues are repaired, muscles receive more blood supply, and the pituitary gland releases human growth hormone. Basically, you need deep sleep to maintain, repair, and rejuvenate your body and brain.
The amount of deep sleep you need varies with age, but spending at least 20% of the night in deep sleep is a good goal. When a person is in deep sleep, they barely move and are difficult to wake up. Sleepers in deep sleep are less apt to wake in response to external stimuli and won’t be disrupted during their slumber. If you get more deep sleep, you’ll toss and turn less and likely feel more well-rested in the morning.
Since this stage of sleep is so mysterious, there is little research on how to get deeper sleep. However, the best way to get more deep sleep is to sleep better and more soundly. Here are some ways you can set your sleep up for success.
1. Regulate Bedroom Temperature
If you’re too hot or too cold during the night, you’ll probably have difficulty falling or staying asleep. This will cause you to toss and turn a lot and may interrupt your deep sleep. The ideal bedroom temperature for optimal sleep is 60-67 degrees. A cooler bedroom will facilitate sleep by lowering the body temperature, which happens at the onset of sleep.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Another reason for restlessness is external distractions like noise and light. Keep your phone on silent and away from your bed to avoid being awoken by notifications. In addition, you should try to sleep in a dark room. Blackout shades will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If it’s noisy outside your bedroom window, try listening to relaxing sounds or using a white noise machine during the night to offset those loud noises.
3. Avoid Alcohol Or Caffeine
The number one reason for tossing and turning at night is alcohol or caffeine. Drinking booze or coffee close to bedtime messes with your sleep. Caffeine may keep you up at night while alcohol will disrupt your slumber. As the alcohol wears off during the second part of the night, people usually wake up and deep sleep is cut short.
3. Get Comfy
Being comfortable is the best way to have a good, full night’s sleep. There are a number of ways to get comfy at night, but we recommend finding a mattress you love first. The right mattress will do wonders for your sleep.