How to Increase Deep Sleep in 8 Simple Ways
The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep per night. While any amount of sleep can be beneficial, deep sleep is especially important if you want to feel refreshed and alert in the morning.
These eight simple tips will help you learn how to increase deep sleep:
- set your thermostat to between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit
- eat a healthy diet and avoid high-fat foods
- exercise for 30 minutes every day
- watch ASMR videos (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) to relax and de-stress
- sleep on a comfortable and supportive mattress
- don’t watch TV or use a phone or tablet before bed
- go to sleep at the same time every day
- write in a journal before bed to clear your mind and reduce anxiety
Why Deep Sleep Is so Important
There are four stages to sleep. The first three are non-REM sleep stages, while the fourth stage includes REM sleep.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually the third stage of non-REM sleep that occurs just before REM sleep where the body undergoes deep sleep. Stage three is where is the body recuperates and heals itself.
During the third stage, the brain waves, the heartbeat and breathing all slow down, and the muscles relax. This deep sleep stage is what leaves the body feel rested and restored.
During the night, the body cycles through the various stages. Without the third stage, you will wake up feeling groggy and irritable.
Deep sleep is necessary to keep your mind intact and your body feeling rejuvenated and healthy.
Tip # 1: Find the Optimal Bedroom Temperature
When it comes to sleeping well, there is such a thing as the perfect temperature. The ideal temperature is one that doesn’t cause bodily responses like sweating or shivering.
Humans sleep best between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with most men favoring a cooler temperature and women preferring a higher temperature.
Use blankets, fans, air conditioning, and space heaters to achieve the optimal temperature for your bedroom if the thermostat is inaccessible.
Tip # 2: Eat a Sleep-Friendly Diet
A sleep-friendly diet is also one that’s healthy and nutritious. Choose foods like whole grains, dark leafy greens, high fiber vegetables, and low-fat proteins like chicken and fish.
Stay away from foods that cause gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, which can keep you up at night. Avoid fried foods, overly sweet drinks, sodas, candy, coffee, chocolate, high-fat red meats, and alcohol.
Tip # 3: Exercise for 30 Minutes per Day
There are many health benefits to incorporating exercise into your daily routine, including getting a good night’s sleep.
As little as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day is enough to improve sleep quality. Researchers say there is a positive connection between moderate aerobic exercise and increasing deep sleep.
One of the key ways exercise benefits sleep is by raising the core body temperature.
A rise in temperature signals to the body that it’s time to be awake. Around 30 to 90 minutes after this increase occurs, the body temperature falls inducing sleepiness and fatigue.
Tip # 4: Watching ASMR Videos
Recently, ASMR, which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, has rapidly grown in popularity. ASMR videos typically feature sound simulation like whispering, tapping, crackling, and brushing.
ASMR is a phenomenon in which people often feel tingling around the top and base of their heads and down their necks as a response to audio and video stimuli. Some people even feel a full body response.
Many who enjoy ASMR videos claim to experience benefits like stress-relief, anxiety-relief, an improvement in symptoms of depression, relaxation, and sleep more soundly.
In fact, a study that surveyed over 400 volunteers that had experienced ASMR found that they watched ASMR content right before bed as a way to get to sleep (82%) and to deal with stress (70%).
Tip # 5: Sleep On a Comfortable Mattress
Are you plagued by aches and pains? Is discomfort keeping you awake? Or do you often wake up in the middle of the night because of back pain or muscle strain?
Your problem is most likely your mattress.
To enjoy sleep that is restful for both the body and mind, choose a supportive mattress with features like body contouring, pressure-relieving support, and moisture-wicking technology.
These features will allow you to sleep comfortably with proper spinal and muscle support, reducing or even eliminating body aches and pains. The moisture-wicking fabric will keep you cool and protect you from overheating throughout the night.
Tip # 6: Log Off, No Screens Before Bed
If unwinding with a TV show, scrolling social media on your phone or using a tablet is part of your bedtime routine, it’s time to ditch the screens.
It is well-documented that the blue light that emits from TVs and the screens of handheld smart devices has a negative effect on the body’s internal clock.
Exposure to blue light can make you feel more alert and awake, offsetting your body’s circadian rhythms.
To preserve your sleep schedule, avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
Tip # 7: Follow a Bedtime Routine
Going to bed and waking at the same time every day will help your body learn to feel sleepy at the same time each day.
Sleep experts suggest the best time to go to sleep and gain the benefits of both non-REM and REM sleep is between 8 pm and 12 am.
Tip # 8: Journaling to Clear Your Mind
A racing mind is a common complaint from those who deal with insomnia. To calm the nerves and clear your mind, write down your thoughts before bed.
Many who struggle with insomnia due to anxiety and stress find this technique to be particularly effective. Journaling provides a constructive way to release racing thoughts out of mind and onto the page.
For more information on sleep health, check out the other posts from our blog!
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