Every night, your body goes through several stages of sleep. The amount of time you spend in each stage informs the overall quality of your sleep and can affect how you feel the next day. Deep sleep is one of the most crucial sleep stages, and it has incredible benefits for your brain. Here’s what you need to know about this vital sleep phase.
What is deep sleep?
Your sleep cycles last about 90 minutes, and you’ll go through several stages during the process. Deep sleep is when your brain and body are most relaxed. In fact, your brain waves are the slowest during this sleep phase, and it’s very difficult to wake up from, even with light or noise nearby. Your muscles will also relax, and your heartbeat and breathing slow down. This stage of sleep is followed by REM sleep, which is when you experience dreams.
Key Benefits of Deep Sleep
Deep sleep is incredibly essential for your brain. If you want to feel sharper and more awake during the day, that needs to start with deep sleep at night. Here’s how deep sleep benefits your brain.
- It helps improve your memory. Your brain processes glucose most efficiently during this stage of sleep, which enhances your ability to catalog events for long term memory as well as process things for short term memory.
- You’ll also absorb new information more effectively during the day when you get enough deep sleep. Deep sleep helps stimulate your brain and makes it easier for you to learn and process information.
- Deep sleep is when your body produces human growth hormone naturally. This helps your cells regenerate, restoring any damage that may happen during the day. It also helps keep the brain and the rest of your body functioning at their best when you’re awake, and can help you live a healthier life.
- When you get quality deep sleep, you’ll feel less groggy and tired during the day. Deep sleep is what recharges your brain, requiring less of a need for a nap or mid-day slump. Skipping long naps during the day will also help you sleep deeper at night.
How to Get More Deep Sleep
Taking steps to improve your general sleep quality will help you get more deep sleep. When you are on a regular sleep pattern with a good bedtime routine, this can help your body access deep sleep more easily. One way to get more deep sleep is to shower before bed in cooler water temperatures. You can also first take a relaxing hot bath to soothe any body aches and follow up with a cool shower to lower your body temperature. Having a general bedtime routine to get you relaxed is also very helpful for getting better sleep. Try to avoid drinking caffeine too late in the day, and limit your usage of TV, computers, and phones before bed, as the blue light can keep you up at night.