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Aayushi Kapoor June 18th, 2022 · 7min read

All You Need To Know About Deep Sleep

Having or achieving deep sleep is like engulfing yourself in the meditational state without any disturbance. Deep sleep means having a sleep wherein you are paying less attention to the external world and focusing on sleeping. In a nutshell, deep sleep is like having quality sleep.

Deep sleep is the deep stage of sleep wherein you require to freshen up yourself to wake up in the morning. During deep sleep, your brain and body waves slow down. When you are in deep sleep it becomes difficult to wake from sleep, and when you generally wake up from deep sleep, you feel groggy.

In this blog, let’s read about everything we need to know about deep sleep.

What is Deep Sleep?

As I mentioned above, deep sleep is the last stage of sleep wherein our body and brain slow down. To understand deep sleep in a better way, there are two stages of sleep basically:

  1. Non-REM: Non-rapid eye movement
  2. Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM)

Herein, deep sleep is the third stage of Non-REM. It is also referred to as slow-wave sleep. In this stage, our body goes through various changes.

What happens during deep sleep?

While our body goes into a deep sleep, our body goes through various body changes. Some of the changes are important procedures for ideal functioning. During deep sleep, we are not easily awakened and we tend to feel groggy or disoriented after waking up from deep sleep.

Psychologists and researchers stated that it can take minutes or hours from getting back to normal after waking up from deep sleep. Deep sleep impairs our mental performance and we have a desire to go back to the same sleep. This is known as sleep inertia.

Research also shows that declarative memory improves from having a deep sleep and growth hormones are improved. Deep sleep is especially required while recovering from an injury. However, some of the sleeping disorders like night terrors, sleep eating, and sleepwalking mainly occur during deep sleep.

What are the Stages of Sleep?

As mentioned above, there are two stages of sleep: Non-REM and REM. We generally begin the night in the non-REM stage and slowly follow to the REM sleep stage. Each cycle continues for 90 minutes throughout the night.

Deep sleep is mostly established in the non-REM’s final stage. Below are the stages of Non-REM sleep:

Non-REM Sleep

Non-REM sleep stage only lasts for a few or several minutes. It is the initial stage of sleep wherein we are awake and begin to fall asleep.

Stage 1 of Non-REM Sleep

During Stage 1 our body goes through various changes like our eye movements, respiration, and heartbeat begins to slow down. Herein, our muscles also begin to relax and our brain waves begin to slow down.

Stage 2 of Non-REM Sleep

During Stage 2 our body’s system begins to relax and slow down, our body temperature drops, eye movements stop, and brain waves slow down.

Stage 3 and 4 of Non-REM Sleep

During stages 3 and 4 we begin to into deep sleep here in our breathing and heartbeat rates slow down, brain waves slow down, and it becomes difficult to be awake even with noises.

REM Sleep

REM Sleep is considered stage 5 of sleep which occurs for 90 minutes approximately. After this cycle, our sleep pattern again returns to the Non-REM stages.

Stages of REM Sleep

During the REM sleep stage, our eyes begin to move from side to side rapidly, we experience dreaming, our heart rate increases, breathing becomes faster, and our limbs become paralyzed.

What happens when you don’t get enough deep sleep?

Deep sleep is important for healing and it also helps us in processing the information that we encounter every day. Without enough deep sleep, we can’t store our information in memories. Not getting enough deep is also connected with issues like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke

It is also related to certain disorders such as:

  • Night terrors
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep eating
  • Bedwetting

Why do we need deep sleep?

Getting deep sleep is important for our overall well-being. Since we heal or recover from various injuries and disorders via getting deep sleep, it is really important to have a deep sleep. Deep sleep is especially required for teenagers and children who are into the growth phase because during deep sleep our pituitary gland releases growth hormones.

Deep sleep is also important for the consolidation of new memories. People who are experiencing any type of sleep disorder lack impairment of this function. The amount of deep sleep reduces when we grow older. This makes it more important to get deep sleep for the proper functioning of the body and brain.

What are the benefits of deep sleep?

Deep sleep is established when our brain increases glucose metabolism which supports long-term and short-term memory and overall learning. Some of the benefits of having deep sleep are:

  • Restored energy
  • Regenerated cells
  • Increased blood supply to the muscles
  • Promotes growth and repairs of bones and tissues
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improved overall mental wellbeing

How much deep sleep do we generally need?

According to the research, it is said that 75% of our night is spent in the non-REM sleep stage and 25% of the night is spent in the REM sleep cycle. Approximately, 13-23% of total sleep is acquired in deep sleeping. Having said that, deep sleep generally increases with age, for example, if you are under 30, you are supposed to get 2 hours of deep sleep every day and if you are over 64, you might only get 30 minutes of deep sleep at night, or none at all.

The fact is that deep sleep can only be achieved at night. As of now, study shows that there are no specific numbers for getting a deep sleep but if you are young, you might need more deep sleep to promote development and growth. Meanwhile, old people also need deep sleep but not more deep sleep because it may result in a sleep disorder. Well, now the question is how do we know if we are getting enough sleep or not?

How to know if we are getting enough deep sleep or not?

If every morning, you wake up feeling exhausted, it may be a sign that you might not be getting enough sleep. To measure the time, you can take the help of wearable devices that help in tracking the movements of your body.

Such tools will help in identifying your sleeping patterns. If you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, you can try connecting with your doctor or mental health advisor today.

How to get more deep sleep?

The best way to promote deep sleep is to get enough time to sleep generally. Below are some healthy  tips that you can use to get more deep sleep:

  1. Exercise regularly to improve the quality of deep sleep.
  2. Spend some time in the sauna so that the heat can help you in getting a better deep sleep.
  3. Have a healthy diet so that you can have undisturbed sleep at night.
  4. Listen to white or pink noise.
  5. Cut caffeine intake, especially before bed.
  6. Cut down alcohol usage.
  7. Give yourself enough time to have quality sleep.
  8. Maintain a schedule.
  9. Try meditation and yoga.
  10. Take a natural bath before bed.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Deep Sleep

1. Is deep sleep healthy?

All stages of sleep are important for the improvement of overall well being. Deep sleep offers various mental and physical health benefits like improving the immune system, preventing various diseases, and making us mentally strong.

2. How much deep sleep is normal?

If you are at a young age, at least two hours of deep sleep is required. If you’re at an older age and having difficulty in sleeping, contact your mental health provider.

3. What triggers deep sleep?

When our body goes into the last stage of sleep, deep sleep triggers and lasts for more than 90 minutes.

4. How do I know if I am in deep sleep?

When your eyes rapidly start moving from side to side, you can take it as a sign of deep sleeping.

I hope this blog helps you with understanding all you need to know about deep sleep. Comment down your queries related to deep sleep. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

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