Why Deep Sleep is Important and The Health Benefits You Need to Know

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. During this time, your body slows down its processes and prepares itself for a restful position during which you fall into a deep sleep. It not only restores energy but at the same time it helps to repair skin cells, releases hormones, relaxes muscles, drops blood pressure, reinforces tissue growth, and increases blood circulation.

That is to say, if you spend your nights tossing and turning in bed, you are likely to end your day feeling frustrated and cranky. Even if you keep pouring caffeine in your body, your sleep-deprived brain has to deal with relentless phases of fatigue, tiredness, and yawns.

In this article, you will learn the following: 

According to sleep experts, if an individual misses out on the regular recommended hours of sleep, they might face the long-term effects of sleep deprivation. Plus, it can drain cognitive abilities and put your overall health at risk. That is what makes analyzing sleep habits vital if you do not want to deteriorate your physical and mental health.

Let’s delve into the discussion to find out why deep sleep is essential for your well being and how proper sleep can benefit your health.

What is Deep Sleep?

woman sleeping

Deep sleep refers to one of the stages of the sleep cycle that helps the brain and memory function properly. It is commonly called as “physically restorative” sleep stage.

Shortly after sleeping, the body transitions from normal to deep sleep. During this stage, the brain has the slowest waves. That is why slow-wave sleep is another term used for deep sleep. Precisely, when the body is in a state of a deep sleep, its respiratory and heart rate decreases significantly. Muscles also relax when you get more hours of deep sleep.

The first period of deep sleep may last for 40 to 90 minutes. These periods become shorter as time progresses. Typically, an average adult experiences 3 to 5 sleep cycles a night.

What Are The Stages Of Sleep?

It is worth mentioning that sleep has two types: non-REM sleep with three stages, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Each sleep stage has specific neuronal activity and brain waves. Adult cycles go through all the included stages of REM and non-REM repeatedly during deep sleep timeThese periods grow increasingly deeper and longer toward the morning.

Take a look at the sleep stages to understand how your sleep cycle works.

Non-REM Sleep

Stage 1:

This is the first stage of the sleep cycle that often lasts 30 to 40 minutes as an individual falls asleep from wakefulness. It is relatively light sleep and has the following changes.

  • The body slows down functions like eye movement, respiration, and heartbeat
  • Muscles begin to relax, twitching occasionally
  • Brain waves become slower from the wakeful state

Stage 2:

  • The body stays in the relaxing state
  • The core temperature of the body decreases
  • Brain waves become slower with a short burst of activities

 Stage 3:

  • As muscles are in the most relaxed state, breathing and heartbeat are at their slowest
  • Like a heartbeat, brain waves reduce their movement to the lowest
  • Waking up a person during the third stage is quite difficult

REM Sleep

This is the fourth stage that starts after cycling through the stages of non-REM sleep stages. It usually occurs after 90 minutes of sleep. The legs and arms of a person become paralyzed for a temporary period. During the stage a person

  • Has fast and irregular breathing
  • Has rapid eye movement
  • Has a high heart rate
  • May experience dreaming due to active state of brain

Many people often find deep sleep vs. REM a confusing phenomenon. It is important to note that REM and deep sleep are different. REM sleep comprises deep sleep and involves standard cycles of sleep. It is a mentally restorative stage when the brain converts all short-term memories to long-term memories. The brain is in an active state during REM, which does not happen in a deep sleep.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Deep Sleep?

As mentioned above, deep sleep is best for the brain. Also, it is when your body tends to restore its physical state. According to a recent study, 95 percent of hormone production occurs when your body is in a deep sleep. That means taking 4.5 hours deep sleep is vital to give the body enough time to repair cells and restore energy.

Health benefits of deep sleep

That is why you must know how to increase deep sleep or how to get more deep sleep cycles to live a healthy life.

Check out the following health benefits of deep sleep.

Deep sleep helps you

  • Balance metabolism and blood sugar level
  • Detoxify brain
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve blood flow in muscles
  • Regenerate bone, tissues, and cells

How Much Deep Sleep Do You Need?

People who are looking for different ways to get to sleep are often confused about the ideal dose of sleep hours. Know that people’s need for proper sleep changes as they age. However, the ideal sleep dose may vary in individuals of the same age.

Although no one has a magic number for ideal sleep hours, most adults (age 20 to 45) need at least 7 to 10 hours of sleep. Elderly people (after 60) often need deep sleep meditation because their sleep cycle gets shorter with age, and it is interrupted by several awakening intervals. However, if older people get an only half-hour of a deep sleep, it does not mean that they have a deep sleep disorder.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Deep Sleep?

Not getting enough deep sleep may lead to the following conditions.

  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

Deep Sleep Requirements

There is no denying that today’s fast-paced life is one of the main reasons for chronic sleep deprivation.   Because of the taxing work schedule and busy social life, people fail to meet their sleep requirements.

Here is a summary of the average deep sleep requirements of people according to their age.

Age

 

Sleep Requirements
 Newborn baby to 3 months 14 to 17 hrs
4 to 12 months 12 to 15 hrs
2 to 5 years 10 to 13 hrs
6 to 13 years 9 to 11 hrs
14 to 18 years 8 to 10 hrs
18 to 25 7 to 9 hours
25 to 65 7 to 8 hrs
65 + 7 to 8 hours

How to Get More Deep Sleep

deep sleeping woman

Getting more deep sleep is all about promoting better sleep habits. You can simply start by going to bed early. Maintaining sleep consistency is critical to set your sleep behavior. When you go to bed and wake up at the same time daily, your brain becomes habitual of a predictable schedule. Plus, avoiding alcohol is another effective way to get more deep sleep.

What is a Sleep Pattern?

Sleep patterns refer to the specific sleep behavior of an individual. There can be different sleep patterns depending on the age, lifestyle, work routine, and health of an individual. For some people, sleeping once a day makes an ideal sleep pattern, while for others, it may mean sleeping in intervals.

Personal Deep Sleep Tips

Luckily, there are many sleeping tips that you can try to promote more deep sleep. Here we have jotted down a few of them to help you out.

  • Maintain a proper bed schedule and stick to it
  • Do a lot of exercises and try to stay active
  • Drink a lot of decaffeinated drinks and water before going to bed
  • Avoid nicotine, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages before bed
  • Banish loud noises and lights
  • Avoid using cell phones once you are on the bed
  • Listen to relaxing music to calm your nerves
  • Eat a low-carb diet
  • Take a hot water bath before bed

You can also check my previous post about how to sleep better at night to add you additional sleeping tips.

Deep Sleep: Conclusion

In a nutshell, you must give sleep more priority because it is critically important for your health. Thus, taking deep sleep can offer a slew of health benefits from improving your mental health, regenerating tissues, to restoring energy.

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