Deep Sleep: What is it and how do I get it?
Do you have trouble falling asleep or often wake up in the middle of the night? Or do you often feel drained and exhausted in the morning instead of rested and refreshed? You are not alone. Millions of people across the world have sleep problems. Everyone needs good sleep, and deep sleep is even more important as it affects your health and body. When you get the adequate amount of deep sleep, you will wake up refreshed and with restored stamina, making you ready for anything the day throws at you.
What is Deep Sleep?
So what is deep sleep? Well, the simplest answer is that it is one of the stages in the sleeping process. This stage is also known as slow wave sleep, delta sleep and more recently, N3. Deep sleep is a time when repairs take place within the body and energy is restored for the day ahead. This stage of sleep plays an important role in maintaining your health as it boosts the immune system, stimulates growth and repairs any damage to tissue and muscles.
Deep sleep also has a number of benefits, including:
- It can help in keeping your heart healthy. During deep sleep, your heartbeat slows down and gives your heart the opportunity to repair itself.
- Lack of deep sleep can trigger the production of cortisol and adrenaline which increases blood pressure. Deep sleep allows your body to rest and slows down your heartbeat, thereby lowering blood pressure.
- During deep sleep, the brain repairs itself and the body produces hormones as well as neurotransmitters that help in promoting new brain cell production. This brain repair prevents different mental disorders.
- By maintaining healthy brain function, deep sleep can significantly help in preventing memory loss and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
- When you are in the deep sleep stage, the protein inside your body repairs damage caused by free radicals, microorganisms and other factors like harmful substances and toxins.
Apart from this, deep sleep helps in improving digestion, preventing diabetes, fighting inflammation, alleviating stress and anxiety, preventing obesity, promoting healthy weight, restoring energy, enhancing immunity and more.
Tips to Get Deep Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping and want to get deep sleep, here are a few tips that you might find helpful:
- Disconnect Yourself: Many people have trouble sleeping because of work. You should disconnect yourself and relax a few hours before bedtime. Switch off your smartphone and other devices after 8 pm. It will provide great results.
- Listen to Soothing Music: Listening to soothing soft music before hitting the sack can do wonders to help you get deep sleep. It will reduce stress and anxiety and lower your blood pressure.
- Breathe Deeply: Deep breathing exercises and meditation helps to relieve stress and improve sleep quality. Find out a few breathing exercises and try them out before you get into bed. You can try this exercise – first, close your eyes and slowly inhale through your nostrils to count to 3 while expanding your stomach. Hold for 3 seconds and then slowly exhale through your mouth, while counting to 6 and keeping your stomach flat. Repeat 5 times.
- Pick a Good Pillow: You should never underestimate the importance of having a good pillow to lay your head on. The right pillow can have a significant effect on your quality of sleep. Use a medium-soft pillow if you are a side sleeper, and a firm pillow if you prefer sleeping on your back.
- Reduce Light Level: When you reduce the level of light that you are exposed to in the evening, it can encourage the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin and ease your body into sleep mode. So, if possible, get a dimmer switch and turn down your lights in the evening.
- Drink Milk or Eat a Banana: Bananas are an excellent source of melatonin and tryptophan, an amino acid. Warm milk is also quite rich in tryptophan. If you have problems getting good sleep, you should eat a banana or drink a glass of warm milk before bedtime – make this a pre-bedtime routine.
As you can see, deep sleep plays a critical role in your health and well-being. You need to get deep sleep in order to be able to function the next day properly. Without it, you will be easily tired, and you will definitely experience a dip in your productivity. To make sure that you get deep, restful sleep every night, try out the tips mentioned above.