Do you sleep enough? According to the study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough sleep at night. And sleeping too short increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and leads to obesity. What is also important to us, ladies, it makes us age faster. But you certainly know this already. However, there’s much more to it. The length of your deep sleep also matters a lot. And today you’ll find out why, as well as how to evaluate the quality of your sleep and get more of deep sleep.
The Phases of Sleep
We’ve all heard of the stages of sleep. There are light sleep, deep sleep and the rapid-eye-movement-phase (REM).
- During the REM phase, you are somewhere between being awake and sleeping. You see dreams and relax.
- The second stage is light sleep, during which your muscles relax and it’s not that easy to wake you again anymore. Your body processes, such as heartbeat, slow down, and your body temperature lowers.
- During the thirds stage, you’re in deep sleep. All the processes in your organism reach their lowest point. If someone tries to wake you, it will last longer, and you’ll feel tired and dazed after.
Why Is Deep Sleep So Important?
When you’re sleeping deeply, it’s exactly the time where the restorative processes in your body take place. Your cells are being renewed, your metabolism normalizes, your memory is getting better, the human growth hormone is being released, to name a few.
According to Healthline, 13 to 23 per cent of your night’s sleep should be deep. It’s about 87 minutes a night on average if you sleep the recommended 8 hours a day.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Deep Sleep?
Not getting the deep sleep your body needs leads to feeling depressed, being moody, unable to concentrate and perform at work efficiently or being creative, you’re more prone to cravings and overeating. And since your immune system can’t function properly, there is more risk to get sick if you’re (deep) sleep-deprived.
How to Monitor Your Sleep?
There are many affordable fitness trackers and wristbands that include the sleep monitoring function. Make sure you choose the one with a flexible, soft band, otherwise, if you sleep the whole night in it, you could run the risk of a numb arm.
It’s also important that the app linked to your fitness band performs the sleep analysis too. Thus, look for those showing the length of the different stages of sleep.
How to Get More Deep Sleep?
In general, sleeping more should provide you with more deep sleep, but that’s not always the case. Track your sleep for a week or two and you will be able to say a lot about the quality of your sleep.
What if I sleep longer but my deep sleep phase gets shorter?
- The reason could be caffeine. If you drink a coffee or black or green tea in the afternoon, it could still affect your sleep hours after the consumptions.
- If it’s not dark enough in your sleeping room, it could also be the reason you can’t sleep deeply enough.
- Noises don’t necessarily wake you up, but sometimes they might reduce your deep sleep length. These are, for example, a baby next door crying at night, a barking dog, your own pet sleeping in your bed (cats are often active at night), your husband’s snoring. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce noises.
- A weighted blanket could also help.
- Replace your pillow to a more comfortable or a healthier one.
- Don’t sleep with the TV on.
- Avoid using gadgets, such as smartphone, in bed.
- Read before going to bed. It calms.
- Do breathing exercises before falling asleep. A few deep breath-in and -outs work wonders and prepare your body for rest. By the way, some fitness bands already have this feature included.
So, go beyond and analyse your sleep with the app and band.
I Sleep Enough But I’m Fatigued All the Time
Why do you get up groggy after an 8-hour-night sleep and have the feeling you could sleep for another 5 hours? The reason could also be a number of conditions, such as low iron deficiency anaemia, allergy, kidney or liver disease and some more.
The tips I gave you today are just for self-control and self-help.
What If I Have a Serious Sleep Problem?
If you have significant sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, consult your doctor for more information and treatment tips.
Don’t search for just home remedies and tips on the internet for a solution for a severe sleep problem that lasts for weeks or months. There are enough sleep specialists and sleep clinics out there to analyze and help your sleep deprivation, so don’t hesitate to search for professional help.