Tips and Techniques
In this blog, we will explore what chronotypes are, how they affect your health and productivity, and how you can optimize your sleep and wake cycle to suit your chronotype. Additionally, we will look at how technology from Neurobit can help in the study and understanding of chronotypes.
Deep sleep or slow-wave sleep is necessary for supporting memory, cellular restoration, and growth. Not getting enough sleep of this type may result in several health problems, including Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.
Deep sleep stage
The stage of deep sleep is an important part of getting a good night's rest. Adults generally need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, but it's not just about the quantity of sleep you get. Quality matters too!
During sleep, your body goes through different stages, and deep sleep is one of them. This is the stage that helps you feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning. Unlike another stage of sleep called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, deep sleep is when your body and brain waves slow down.
Deep sleep is the stage that's hardest to wake up from, and if you do wake up during this stage, you may feel extra groggy. If you want to learn more about this important stage of sleep, keep reading!
What are the stages of sleep?
When we sleep, there are two main stages: REM and non-REM sleep. At the start of the night, we enter non-REM sleep, followed by a short period of REM sleep. This cycle repeats approximately every 90 minutes throughout the night.
During non-REM sleep, the final stage is called deep sleep. This is when our body is in its most restful state and we feel the most refreshed upon waking up.
Non-REM sleep is a type of sleep that occurs in stages. During the first stage of non-REM sleep, which lasts a few minutes, your body transitions from being awake to being asleep.
During stage 1:
Your body functions like heartbeat, respiration, and eye movements begin to slow down during the first stage of sleep.
Your muscles relax and may experience occasional twitches during this stage of sleep.
Your brain waves begin to slow down from their wakeful state during the first stage of sleep.
Stage 2 of sleep accounts for around 50% of your total sleep cycle, which means that you'll spend a lot of your night in this stage. It's the stage of sleep you're most likely to fall into throughout the night.
During stage 2:
Your body's systems slow down and relax.
Your body temperature decreases.
Your eyes stop moving.
Your brain waves slow down, but you may have some short bursts of activity.
Stages 3 and 4 are considered deep sleep.
When you're in deep sleep, your body goes through different stages. Here are three things that happen during this time:
Your heartbeat and breathing slow down, and your muscles relax. This is the stage where your body is at its most relaxed.
Your brain waves slow down too. This means that your brain is also at its slowest during this time.
It's harder to wake up when you're in deep sleep, even if there are loud noises around you.
Deep sleep is also called "slow wave sleep" or "delta sleep". The first stage of deep sleep usually lasts from 45 to 90 minutes. This stage is longer in the first half of the night and gets shorter with each sleep cycle.
Your REM sleep, which is the stage 5 of your sleep cycle, happens around 90 minutes after you've gone through the earlier non-REM stages of sleep.
During this stage, several things happen to your body:
Your eyes move rapidly from side to side
You may experience vivid dreams as your brain activity increases to a more wakeful state
Your heart rate increases to near its wakeful state
Your breathing becomes faster and may even become irregular at times
Your limbs may feel temporarily paralyzed.
What are the benefits of deep sleep?
Why is deep sleep is so important for our bodies? Here are some reasons:
Deep sleep helps our brains by increasing glucose metabolism, which can improve memory and learning abilities in the short and long term.
During deep sleep, the pituitary gland releases essential hormones like human growth hormone, which can aid in body growth and development.
Deep sleep can also restore our energy levels, regenerate cells, and improve blood supply to muscles.
Additionally, deep sleep promotes the growth and repair of tissues and bones, and can strengthen our immune system.
Overall, getting enough deep sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy body and mind.
When you don't get enough deep sleep, what happens to your body?
If you don't get enough deep sleep, your brain won't be able to process the information you encounter during the day, which can affect your memory.
Poor sleep quality has been linked to several serious health conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
The deep sleep stage is also associated with certain disorders such as sleepwalking, night terrors, bedwetting, and sleep eating.
Not getting enough deep sleep can have negative consequences on both your cognitive and physical health, so it's important to prioritize getting quality sleep each night.
How much deep sleep should you aim for?
When you sleep, you spend most of your time in non-REM sleep (about 75% of the night) and the rest of the time in REM sleep (about 25% of the night). Out of all of this, deep sleep makes up around 13% to 23% of your total sleep time.
However, the amount of deep sleep you get decreases as you get older. If you're younger than 30 years old, you might get around two hours of deep sleep each night. But if you're over 65, you might only get half an hour of deep sleep each night, or even none at all.
There is no exact amount of deep sleep that you need, but younger people might need more of it because it helps with growth and development. As you age, you still need deep sleep, but getting less of it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a sleep disorder.
How can you tell if you're getting enough deep sleep?
Do you often wake up feeling tired and groggy? This could be a sign that you're not getting enough deep sleep. Deep sleep is an important stage of sleep that helps you feel refreshed and energized when you wake up.
There are wearable devices that you can use at home to track your sleep by monitoring your body movements. However, this technology is still new and may not be entirely reliable in measuring the amount of deep sleep you get.
If you're having trouble sleeping, your doctor may recommend a sleep study called a polysomnography (PSG). During this test, you will sleep at a lab while connected to various monitors that measure different aspects of your body such as breathing rate, oxygen levels, body movements, heart rate, and brain waves.
Your doctor will use this information to assess your sleep patterns and determine if you're getting enough deep sleep and other important stages of sleep throughout the night.
Tips to improve the quality of your sleep
If you struggle with getting good quality sleep, there are some things you can try to promote more deep sleep. Research suggests that heat, such as taking a hot bath or spending time in a sauna before bedtime, may promote slow wave sleep. Additionally, a low-carbohydrate diet or certain antidepressants may also help promote deep sleep, but further research is needed in this area. Getting enough sleep in general may also increase your chances of experiencing deep sleep.
Here are some tips to improve your sleep:
Stick to a consistent bedtime schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Engage in regular physical activity for about 20 to 30 minutes each day, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
Avoid consuming caffeinated, alcoholic, or nicotine-containing drinks before bed, as they may interfere with your sleep.
Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help you unwind, such as reading a book or taking a bath.
Keep your bedroom free of bright lights and loud noises. Excessive TV or computer usage may also make it difficult to relax.
If you can't sleep, don't just lay in bed tossing and turning. Consider getting up and doing a light activity like reading until you feel sleepy again.
If you've been using the same pillow for over a year and are struggling to get comfortable, consider replacing it.