We have all made a big deal about getting enough sleep—7 to 8 hours of sleep a day and all that whatnot. But what many of us miss out is the fact that staying healthy and energetic is not just about getting enough sleep. It is also about getting a good quality of sleep.
You may hear some people talk about deep sleep all the time and how beneficial it is to enjoy this kind of sleep. But were you able to enjoy deep sleep yourself? Most probably not. If that is the case, we highly recommend that you read this article to know how to get deep sleep.
Understanding the Different Stages of Sleep
Before we dive into the different tips on how to get deep sleep, we need first to understand the different stages of the sleep cycle.
You see, the sleep cycle is divided into two categories: Non-REM and REM sleep. At the start of the night, you will enter the non-REM sleep cycle. It will then be followed by a short REM period. The entire cycle runs for about 90 minutes then it repeats until the morning.
Deep sleep takes place when you are at the final cycle of your non-REM sleep.
The Amazing Benefits of Deep Sleep
Why is it vital for us to enjoy deep sleep? Do we really need to ask that question? When you are in a deep sleep, your pituitary glands secrete hormones that are important to the healthy function of this body. Because of that, enjoying deep sleep will allow you to enjoy the following benefits:
- Boost mental performance
- Improve memory
- Restore energy levels
- Cellular regeneration
- Better blood flow to the muscles
- Facilitate repair, recovery, and growth of bones and tissues
- Strengthening the body’s immune system
What Happens When You Don’t Get Deep Sleep
If the benefits mentioned are not enough to influence you to find a way to get deep sleep, then you may want to find out what would happen to you if you do not get enough sleep. When you do not get enough deep sleep, your risk of developing certain diseases may increase. These include:
- Heart Diseases
- Alzheimer’s Diseases
Many experts also claim that it is associated with specific sleep disorders like night terrors, sleep eating, bedwetting and even, sleepwalking.
The Best Tips on How to Get Deep Sleep
Now that you already have all the motivation you need to strive for getting deep sleep, then let us proceed with the practical tips on how to get deep sleep. These are as follows:
Reduce bright lights an hour before bed.
Our bodies start to produce melatonin once it gets dark. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep regulation. It can also help you fall asleep easier and deeper. But when the lights in your home are bright a few hours before bedtime, your body will fail to recognize that it is already nighttime. As a result, your body will not produce melatonin, and you will find it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Turn off your gadgets at night.
Even if the lights in your home are already turned off, your body will still feel to produce melatonin if you are still using your phones, laptops, and TV. This is because these gadgets emit blue light which is similar to that of bright lights. Because of this, your body will not get ready for your sleep cycle, and you would end up wide awake even if it is already past midnight.
Avoid eating huge and heavy meals at night.
Do you love to carbo load at night? Or you enjoy getting your sweet fix before bed? Or maybe you like to munch on greasy food like pizza or burger before you go to sleep? If that is the case, it does not come as a surprise that you find it difficult to fall asleep at night.
For you to sleep deeply, your hunger hormones must be high. Sadly, eating carbohydrates can lower it and will ultimately, affect the quality of your sleep. Moreover, greasy food can bring about gastrointestinal discomfort which can also prevent you from enjoying a deep and restful sleep.
If possible, only consume foods that are rich in tryptophan which can stimulate the release of melatonin. These foods can help aid sleep.
Do not drink alcohol before going to sleep.
Since alcohol is a depressant, many people think that drinking alcohol at night can help them fall asleep faster and better. But the truth is the opposite. There are two ways as to how alcohol can prevent you from getting deep sleep.
First off, alcohol can cause disruptive sleep because of possible gastrointestinal issues like hyperacidity. If you have gastric reflux, then you may not even be able to achieve some sleep because the alcohol may induce reflux.
Another way alcohol can prevent you from getting good sleep is it can cause the muscles of your throat to relax, letting your tongue roll back and blocking your airway in the process. As a result, you may experience snoring problems and worse, sleep apnea.
To know more on how alcohol can affect sleep, please watch this video:
Don’t work out a few hours before bedtime.
There is no doubt that regular exercise can help you fall asleep quicker and more soundly. However, you need to pay attention to the time of your workout.
Many people think that working out at night can help them feel more tired. Hence, they would feel asleep easier and better. The sad part is, the opposite effect happens. When you work out, you are pumping blood all over your body, stimulating your muscles and brain, making you feel more energetic and lively than sleepy. As a result, you would just feel tired but can’t sleep.
Regulate the temperature of your room.
When it comes to a temperature that is conducive for sleep, people have mixed reactions. Some like it hot while some people would prefer to sleep in a cold room. Regardless of your preference, studies have shown that a temperature of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for sleep.
Please keep in mind that the temperature of your body goes down when you start to feel drowsy. Sleeping in a hot room can combat this natural body cycle and may prevent you from getting the deep sleep that you want.
If you are prone to getting cold at night, you can simply wrap a heavy blanket around your body.
Invest in mattress, sheets, and pillows of good quality.
The quality of your bedding and bedding accessories can have a significant effect on the quality of your sleep.
When it comes to mattresses and pillows, you will be faced with two choices—firm or soft. There is no right or wrong choice with regards to this. You need to consider your personal preference when making the decision. Because of this, it is recommended that you read various product reviews about the mattress that you are eyeing. You may also want to test the mattress or pillow out before buying it.
With regards to your pillow and bed sheets, it is recommended that you go for ones that will not irritate or scratch your skin. You may wish to consider the sheet’s thread count and fabric type to ensure your comfort during your sleep.
If you want to get deep sleep, you have to get all your senses ready for sleep. For your sense of smell, you will be happy to know that certain scents can induce sleep and relaxation. The best scent for this purpose would be lavender.
With this in mind, you can try diffusing a lavender essential oil in your room an hour before you go to bed.
The quality of our sleep can have a big impact on our mental and physical health. If you wish to maintain your good health, we highly recommended that you practice all these tips on how to get deep sleep as early as now.
You don’t have to follow all these tips, but you have to make sure that you will stick to your chosen suggestions for a certain amount of time so you can see its effects on your health. By doing this, you can have a better understanding of your sleep habits and patterns, and you can adjust them accordingly.