How to Get a Deep, Restful Sleep
Sometimes just catching Z’s doesn’t cut it when it comes to getting truly restorative rest.
Everyone has heard the old adage that advises getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but very few adults actually consistently hit this number. Getting a deep sleep is about more than resetting for the next day, it helps keep your organs and internal bodily functions running smoothly. Sleep can help give you energy for your day, helps you ward off and fight disease, and can even help you lose weight. If you don’t feel satisfied with the level of sleep you’re getting and want to learn more about bettering your sleep, here is what you should know.
What Are the Stages of Sleep?
In order to better your sleep patterns and the depth of your sleep, you should understand the different stages of sleep. The first initial phase of sleep lasts for several minutes and covers the act of actually “falling” asleep. This is when your muscles relax, your heartbeat and breath slow, and your brain calms. In stage two, which accounts for about half of a sleep cycle, you eye movements stop, your brain continues to slow, and your body temperature actually cools. The third and fourth phases of sleep constitute “deep sleep.” Deep sleep takes up about 45 to 90 minutes of a cycle, and it is often when your body is most difficult to awaken. The fifth stage of a sleep cycle is the REM phase. This is when your eyes make rapid movements, your breathing is quickened or irregular, and your heart and brain return to levels more attune to your wakeful state. This is when many experience deep dreams.
Benefits of Getting a Deep Sleep
As previously discussed, getting a deep and restful sleep is so integral to so many of your body and mind’s everyday functions. A deep sleep can strengthen brain function, including both your short and long term memory function. It can also increase blood flow to your muscles, help you heal after injury or disease, regenerate your cells, and promote the growth or repair of tissue and bones in your body.
How to Get Better Sleep
If you want to get better sleep, you’re not alone. Many individuals suffer from not enough sleep or sleep that is simply not good enough to produce deep, restful sleep cycles. If you want to get better sleep, there are a number of tips to try. You could try to heat your body gently before you get to bed by taking a hot bath or sitting in a sauna. You could also switch up your diet for one that is lower in carbohydrates. Make sure you’re also going to bed in a dark room, avoid caffeine before bedtime, and create a strong bedtime routine. Sleeping in a routine allows your body to get used to when it should be falling asleep, and it regulates the rest of your day as well.