Deep sleep refers to the period within each sleep cycle where our brain is producing its lowest frequency delta waves, also known as slow-waves.

Even though this is one of the most important stages of sleep, it makes up less than 20% of our overall sleep. Thus, while we are in deep sleep, its critical than we don’t wake up, otherwise the body’s processes will be disturbed.

During deep sleep, the body focuses on cleansing, repairing, detoxifying, and healing many of the systems that were active throughout the day. Deep sleep also allows us to consolidate our memories, which leads to better learning and higher cognitive function.

 

Ways to Get Truly Deep Sleep

Many of us are unable to enter this deep state for very long, which makes our sleep less effective in preparing us for the next day.

In this article, we will discuss 5 tips for how to get more deep sleep, focusing on simple techniques that people can use on a nightly basis.

 

Use Ambient Music for Deep Rest

woman with headphones

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Playing music might seem antagonistic to sleeping, but that’s only when you think of traditional music that is played over the radio.

Deep sleep music, on the other hand, entails slow, gentle, methodical, often ambient sounds that guide us both into sleep and during it. Using this kind of music also blocks out the disruptive sounds of a house that can prevent a person from reaching deep sleep.

Some popular selections include Brian Eno and William Basinksi. Both of these artists specialize in using synthesizers to create harmonic, droning melodies that will lull you into deep sleep.

Try aligning your breathing with the rhythm of their tracks, as this will help you when you do fall asleep, as your breath will act as the medium between your brain and the music.

 

Wear Earplugs for Silence

Wear Earplugs for Silence

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On the other end of the spectrum, blocking out sound can help us achieve the deepest sleep possible. Yet, even this is a relative silence, for the sound of our breath is still heard as well as the sound of our heart.

Yet, these sounds can be more beneficial for inducing a state of deep sleep. Wearing ear plugs is an attempt to close the loop between our bodies and the external world, allowing our states of consciousness to be determined mostly by our internal sounds.

Deep sleep is considered such a dense state that only several minutes of it can yield incredible benefits. Thus, you really want to maximize how often you enter this state, even if it only last for a brief time.

However, if one of your housemates closes a door too hard, or the next-door neighbor decides to take the dog for a late-night walk, then your precious sleep cycle is vulnerable to disturbance.

If you find ear plugs uncomfortable, another option is to wear noise-cancelling headphones. Though expensive, they will pay off when you wake up feeling like an angel.

 

Be Sure to Only Eat a Light Dinner

Be Sure to Only Eat a Light Dinner

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When we digest food, we use up the energy that our body usually uses to cleanse and recover.

That is why fasting is so beneficial, as it gives the body a break and allows the body to engage in autophagy. This process involves getting rid of unnecessary parts of our cells in order to allow for new parts to be created.

When we eat a heavy meal at night, we are often still digesting it when we go to sleep. While this doesn’t prevent us from entering deep sleep, per se, it certainly makes our deep sleep less restorative and efficient.

Also, when are digesting food while we sleep, the body will often wake up periodically in order to eliminate. This will only disrupt our deep sleep cycle and make it that much harder to enter it.

Try eating your heaviest meal at lunch, and if you do eat dinner, try emphasizing foods that digest quickly like fruits and vegetables. Your body will love you come nighttime.

 

Exercise and Sweat to Rest

Exercise and Sweat to Rest

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One way to ensure a deeper sleep is to exhaust yourself during the day. This usually means intensely exercising, as our sedentary lives rarely tire us beyond a mental level.

It doesn’t have to be that long, as even a quick 30 minute hot yoga class will have us crawling for our mattress come bedtime.

Alternatively, even activities like using a sauna or steam room can be effective for facilitating deep sleep, as increased body temperature during the day is connected to how deep our sleep is.

 

Our Final Thoughts on Deep Sleep

Many people equate dream sleep with the deepest kind of sleep, but this is actually false. During deep sleep, we don’t actually dream, but rather the body focuses all of its energy on repairing and consolidating. This is such an important state that even dreaming would interfere with its effectiveness.

Thus, we think it’s critical that people focus on achieving this deep state of being. In fact, we think it might be more important to enter deep sleep then merely getting more sleep.

Regardless, any kind of sleep is better than no sleep, especially in today’s sleep-deprived world.

Feature image via best mattress for side sleepers

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