17 Tips To Get More Deep Sleep
What if you could actually wake up feeling energized and well-rested?
Some may think this is nearly impossible. But with just a few easy tips, you can achieve the kind of deep sleep most people can only dream of (or would, if they only get some sleep).
But what is deep sleep? How long should you be sleeping? And how can you make each night more restful than the one before? Keep reading to discover the answers!
What is deep sleep?
Our guide is here to help you achieve deep sleep. But what does “deep sleep” actually mean?
Basically, there are two types of sleep: REM sleep and non-REM sleep. REM stands for “rapid eye movement.” REM sleep is where your brain is more active, sleep is not as deep, and your eyes are prone to random muscle movements.
Non-REM sleep is deep sleep, and it is the last stage of sleep you can achieve.
Stages of sleep:
- For the first 5-10 minutes, you are in very light sleep. It’s easy to wake up.
- For the next 10-25 minutes, you are in light sleep. Your heart rate slows down and your body temperature drops.
- After 90 minutes of sleep, you achieve the deep sleep stage. It’s difficult to be woken up when you are in deep sleep. And if you are woken up during this stage, you’ll feel disoriented at first.
Deep sleep consists of the final stages of non-REM sleep where your heart, breath, and even brain all slow down, allowing you to get some genuine rest time in. This is when the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.
To get achieve deep sleep and get the most out of it, though, you need to get enough sleep each night.
How much sleep do you really need?
“How much sleep do I really need?” is a fairly common question. However, the answer depends on your age.
For example, teenagers typically need anywhere between 8–10 hours of sleep. Afterward, adults between 18 and 64 generally only need 7–9 hours of sleep. And those 65 or older can get away with only 7–8 hours of sleep.
Of course, this represents the time that you are actually asleep. If you have trouble getting to sleep after laying down, the 17 tips below should help you get more sleep and also achieve deep sleep.
1. Block blue light at night
Many of us spend the evening staring at screens, including our televisions, computer monitors, and phones. But the blue light emitted from these screens can keep you awake. While you can always avoid electronics entirely before bed or install special apps on your computer or phone, the simplest solution for most people is to buy special glasses that block blue light and wear them a few hours before going to bed.
2. Soak up sunlight during the day
Believe it or not, the more light (including sunshine or any other form of bright light) you receive, the better your sleep will be. That is because light normalizes your circadian rhythms. Try to get at least two hours of light exposure (we recommend taking relaxing walks when you can) to get a better night’s sleep.
3. Ditch those naps
Let’s be real: sometimes, a good nap can feel amazing. But more often than not, taking a nap confuses your body’s clock, making you sleepier during the day and then more awake during the night. Try to power through and skip that nap to get a fuller night’s sleep.
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4. Cut back on the coffee
Speaking of powering through, most of us rely on coffee and other sources of caffeine to make it through the day. But if you can avoid consuming any caffeine for at least six hours before bedtime, you’ll have a much easier time getting to sleep.
5. Take melatonin
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that tells you when it’s time to rest. But if you don’t have enough of it, you can always take 2g of melatonin before bed and see what a difference it makes.
6. Have a consistent sleep schedule
You might think of yourself as very spontaneous, but your body craves a routine. Make sure you are getting to bed and waking up around the same time each night and day to improve your sleep.
7. Avoid alcohol
You might think that a glass of wine will help you sleep, but you’d be mistaken. Alcohol actually messes with your melatonin and increases your likelihood of waking up in the middle of the night. It also makes you likelier to snore, which means your partner may end up throwing a shoe at you, significantly increasing your chances of waking up.
8. Try other supplements
Earlier, we discussed how effective melatonin supplements can be. You may benefit from other supplements to enhance sleep, including lavender, magnesium, and Ginkgo biloba. As always, we recommend consulting with your physician before you start taking additional supplements.
9. Keep your bedroom cooler
There are times when it’s fun to heat things up in the bedroom, but not when you’re trying to sleep. Generally speaking, a cooler bedroom means an easier time getting to sleep. We recommend setting your thermostat to 70°F and then adjusting up or down as needed.
10. Rearrange your bedroom
Sometimes, you can improve your sleep by simply improving the bedroom. That means blocking out sources of light (we recommend installing blackout curtains), covering up digital displays, and turning off the TV (or, better yet, taking the TV out altogether). A bedroom that is quiet and relaxing naturally leads to better sleep!
11. Find new ways to relax
We can all agree that relaxing before bed helps you sleep, but everyone finds different ways to relax. Try listening to chill music, reading a book, or meditating to get in the right sleepy state of mind.
12. Stop midnight snacking
We’ve all been guilty of the occasional midnight snack. But eating close to bedtime (or worse, after you have already gone to bed) cuts down on your melatonin and can really ruin the quality of your sleep.
13. Don’t drink any liquids
Previously, we touched on why drinking alcohol close to bedtime is a bad idea. But you should really avoid all liquids for an hour or two before you lie down. Otherwise, your sweet dreams may get disrupted by a necessary trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
14. Enjoy a bath or shower
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get a better night’s sleep. For example, taking a relaxing bath or shower before you head to bed (no more than 90 minutes before bedtime) remains one of the best ways to sleep better.
15. Exercise the right way
Regular exercise can help you sleep, but only if you do it the right way. Basically, exercising earlier in the day means you are more likely to get to sleep and stay asleep. But you need to avoid exercising too close to bedtime because a racing heart makes it harder to fall asleep!
16. Upgrade your mattress
Sometimes, the secret to deep sleep is simply making your bed more comfortable. Buying a new bed, mattress, and/or pillow can make you more comfortable when you sleep at night. You can also experiment with things like a weighted blanket for added comfort and security.
17. Go to the doctor
While all of these tips are useful, you may find that your sleep problems aren’t going away. Don’t be afraid to go to a doctor to make sure you don’t have a condition like sleep apnea that requires more professional treatment.