We all know we need at least eight straight hours of sleep per night; however, did you know that it isn’t just about how much sleep you get, but the quality of your sleep? Deeper sleep can mean a more productive sleep cycle. Read on to find out how to improve your sleep habits and start falling into a deeper sleep every night.
How Much Deep Sleep Do You Need?
We know sleep is essential, but how much sleep should you get? In a typical 8-hour sleep cycle, we will experience several stages of sleep, including REM sleep. Scientists agree that an average of one to two hours of deep sleep is most important. In one night cycle of eight hours, you should be in a deep sleep for at least that much time.
Deep sleep allows your body to fully relax and settle into the sleep routine. This is arguably the most critical point in your entire nighttime cycle. Many of you may be wondering, “How much deep sleep do I need?” This is a valid question as everyone has different needs. Though the average is one to two hours per night, some people may need more.
To ensure you are getting enough, try implementing practices to help you maximize the deep sleep hours your body needs.
How to Get More Deep Sleep
The key to getting more deep sleep is in all the steps you take just before bedtime. In fact, your pre-bedtime habits like breathing techniques, relaxation ways will have a significant impact on whether your body will get the chance to fall into a deep sleep during the night. Here are some things to do (or stop doing) before bed:
- Do not use any devices at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Be sure to put your cell phone on silent as well to prevent disturbances throughout the night if you feel comfortable doing so.
- Avoid heavy meals or snacks in the two hours prior to bedtime.
- Make sure the temperature in the room is moderate. Night sweats or feeling the chills will interrupt your sleep cycle.
- Invest in a white noise machine to keep your body calm and relaxed all night long. This will also filter out the noise and unwanted sounds.
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Follow the same bedtime routine steps (ex: brush your teeth, read a book, and go off to sleep). This will help your body prepare for sleep naturally.
- Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and right pillow. Discomfort will continuously disturb your sleep patterns.
What Is Slow Wave Sleep?
Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS) is the third stage of your sleep cycle. It happens right before REM sleep and deep sleep. It is the deepest phase of sleep before REM sleep. Your body is well on its way to a deep sleep once you hit this stage.
How Much REM Sleep Do I Need?
Every stage of your sleep cycle is important. They all work together to maximize your sleep overall. REM sleep is a stage that typically lasts on to two hours, as well.
How to Increase Deep Sleep?
Increasing deep sleep includes following the above-mentioned tips. These tips will help you maximize all of your sleep stages during a cycle. However, increasing your sleep is also largely dependent on habits in your daily life. For example, if you have several coffees per day, you may want to consider scaling it back.
Too much caffeine can interfere with the quality of your sleep. If you wake up after a full eight-hour night and still feel sleepy, start reducing your caffeine intake and using essential oils for sleep or night gummies. This can help increase your deep sleep time tremendously.
What Is Deep Sleep?
We’re discussing how to get deeper sleep and why it’s important, but what actually is deep sleep? Deep sleep is when your body is in complete sleep. It is the high point of your sleep cycle when most benefits can occur. Here are some examples of what happens to your body during sleep:
- Brain waves slow down to the lowest level during your entire sleep cycle, meaning your body is getting the highest quality rest it needs to function.
- It benefits memory throughout the day.
- It allows better brain performance during waking hours.
What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Deep Sleep?
If you find yourself waking up several times per night, or sleeping less than eight hours per night, there is a good chance you are not getting good quality deep sleep. This can have some pretty significant side effects, such as:
- Reduced brain power during the day.
- A nagging feeling of fatigue all day long, including first thing in the morning.
- Difficulty waking up every day.
- Difficulty regulating emotions.
- Difficulty learning and remembering.
- Lower levels of energy throughout the day.
- Difficulty controlling eating habits.
- Increased need for caffeine or other stimulants throughout the day.
Depression and Anxiety
Both depression and anxiety can worsen if a person is missing out on deep sleep several nights per week. Getting into a deep sleep every night can help you manage anxiety and depression much better. If you are concerned that your sleep habits are causing more mental health issues for you, meet with your doctor as soon as possible.
Getting more deep sleep is essential to your health. Waking up every hour for an extended period of time can have many of the above-mentioned side effects on your life. It is crucial to get a deep, restful sleep every night to maximize your potential every day.
Your mood is very much dependent on how rested you are. Depression and anxiety can worsen with insomnia, which in turn can create more insomnia. If you are having trouble achieving deep sleep, try some of the tips mentioned here. If those tips don’t seem to help you, consider meeting with your doctor to see if there are deeper issues or health concerns that need to be addressed.
The sooner you find the root cause of your insomnia, the sooner you can be on your way to better sleep.