What makes a quality deep sleep? A lot of people think that getting a full 7 to 9 hours of sleep would be enough for the brain to process information, retain memories, and restore itself from its daily duties. Well, it’s not entirely true; the quality of sleep matters for an optimum feeling of having your senses revitalized in the morning.
Quality sleep is often achieved through deep sleep, a stage in the sleep cycle wherein the brain produces the slowest sleep waves. It is different from the rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep which allows humans to dream vividly.
What is a deep sleep?
Deep sleep usually occurs in the third stage of sleep, right after the non-REM sleep phase. This type of sleep is responsible to process memories and for proper brain function. At this point, the heartbeat and the breathing is at its slowest which is why deep sleep is also called a “slow-wave sleep.”
It is difficult to wake up a person who is in this stage of sleep. People who are interrupted during this phase usually feel grogginess when they wake up.
How can I have a deep sleep?
For sure, you have already experienced a deep sleep in your life. Remember the time you feel so alive in the morning, like all your energy has been replenished during the night? That could be the work of a good deep sleep!
Now, if you want to have frequent deep sleep to improve your memory and sleep health, you have to comply with some requirements which are pretty easy to keep up with.
Maintain your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
Changing your body clock from time to time interrupts the ability of your body to keep its circadian rhythm in-sync. Although you have to adjust your sleep schedule at times because of your work schedule or other activities, it would be best to stick into a sleeping pattern that will maintain your productivity during day time.
If you would notice, even when you sleep more than your usual number of hours but at a different sleep schedule, you can still feel tired when you wake up. This is because your body is accustomed to the sleep schedule that it feels comfortable.
Taking long naps in the daytime would also ruin your sleeping pattern. Make sure that your naps aren’t lengthy enough to keep you awake at night. Also, if you feel sleepy when it’s not yet bedtime, try to do some stimulating activities so you can still follow your schedule.
Do some exercise
Exercise is found to have a lot of sleep benefits. Those who regularly exercise in the day sleep better because it speeds up metabolism, stimulates hormones such as cortisol, and increases body temperature which are all factors in having a restful night.
However, it would take time to see the results of exercise on the quality of sleep so, you have to be persistent in doing so. Also, refrain from exercising close to bedtime because it may also prevent you from falling asleep easily.
Studies also found that exercise can help reduce insomnia and sleep apnea which are common sleep disorders.
Guard what you eat
Drinking caffeine-infused beverages can interfere with your sleep so it is best to consume those kinds of drinks during the day or when needed. Also, eating a meal before bed time is not advisable as the digestive tract will have difficulty processing what you eat which, in worst cases, may lead to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis, a common cause of death during sleep.
Aside from that, eating too much sugary foods can trigger wakefulness at night, as well as drinking plenty of water before bedtime, sending you to multiple bathroom trips. Drinking alcohol, although can help you fall asleep fast, will also ruin your sleeping schedule once you’re sober.
Control your exposure to light
Exposing your eyes to light before or during bedtime can slow down your pace to falling asleep. Experts recommend avoiding using devices such as mobile phones or laptops 30 to an hour before going to bed. This will condition your eyes to rest as it responds actively to light.
Also, the brain produces more melatonin when the lights are off, which is the complete opposite when the lights are on – making you alert.
Try to calm your senses
One of the reasons why people don’t get enough sleep at night is endless hours of overthinking and worrying. Although there are some issues in life that you can clearly think about at night, it would be best for you to get enough rest first and then face the battle head on tomorrow. You can win a war with a good night sleep than a lack of it, don’t you?
To help yourself calm down, try listening to ASMR or binaural audios which are widely available in streaming apps. You can also do some breathing exercises. Avoid checking social media as well before closing your eyes so you can somehow empty your mind.