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When talking about a healthy individual’s daily lifestyle, we talk about getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep. But what is more important to note here is that there are different stages of sleep. Deep sleep is a phase wherein you are at your deepest, and it’s the most difficult to wake somebody from.
Deep sleep or slow-wave sleep, is the deepest stage of sleep and the most difficult to wake someone up from. Usually starts from the first third of the night.
There are many stages you go through when you sleep; they can be mainly divided into the below mentioned category.
The stage one begins when you changeover from your state of being awake and slowly transition into sleeping. This short phase can last up to several minutes and you experience light sleep, while being somewhat conscious of your surroundings. In your body, you may experience a change in the pace of your heartbeat, your breathing relaxes, and your eye movements slow down.
During the stage 2 of your sleep, your sleep is in its light phase. Your heartbeat, and breathing slows as well as your muscles relax further. Most of your sleep cycle is spent in stage 2 as compared to the other stages.
The first signs of REM sleep (or rapid eye movement sleep) occurs about ninety minutes after you first hit the hay. You can see the movement of your eyes behind your eyelids. You can experience irregular breathing, your heartbeat might fluctuate and blood pressure tends to increase. Most of your dreams occur during this time. The REM phase of your sleep decreases with your age.
It is only during deep sleep that your body produces growth hormones important for the development of your muscles and repairing of your tissues. Thus, it is extremely crucial for children to get good amounts of sleep.
Believe it or not! Deep Sleep helps a lot in getting rid of your metabolic waste from your brain. This not only helps your brain’s better functioning but also improves your memory significantly. All while helping your cells store energy and optimising your immune system.
When you are in your deep sleep, glucose gets processed more easily. This supports both short-term as well as your long-term memory and overall hearing. It is in your deep sleep that your brain secretes important hormones for the growth and development of your body.
Some other benefits of deep sleep include restoring and re-energizing your system, cell regeneration, increasing the supply of blood to your muscles. All while repairing your tissues and muscles, as well as strengthening the immune system.
More than half of your sleep time is spent in your non-REM sleep and only a small percent goes to REM sleep. And an even smaller percent is spent in deep sleep.
Having said that, deep sleep reduces with age. People above 65 often experience as little as half an hour of sleep. There is no specific requirement for deep sleep, but it is beneficial in the growing stages of the human body.
You must have noticed that right after a hot shower, is when you get your best stress-free sleep. On the other hand, eating a low carb diet or taking certain antidepressants (as prescribed by a doctor) may also promote deep sleep in the individual. Ofcourse, getting enough sleep promotes deep sleep equally.
There are several simple and easy steps you can follow to make sure you get good amounts of deep sleep. For starters, fixing the time you hit the hay as well as the time you start your day can help greatly with getting deep sleep. Exercising daily and keeping yourself hydrated can also be a driving factor in this. If you are not an active person, starting with something as easy as practising Yoga once a day for about half an hour can help. Remember to not take caffeine in any form, or you might hamper the quality and duration of your sleep.
Reading a few pages from your favorite book, or taking a good long shower might be beneficial, but you must cut down on your screen time and even completely abort the habit of watching anything right before you sleep. Passing out while watching your favorite series is not an option anymore.
Setting the mood, before you sleep, also helps calm your nerves. We recommend lighting up a candle, playing soft music and banishing harsh lights from your room. How many twists and turns do you take before you finally give in and grab your phone? We recommend reaching out to a book, and reading till you pass out.
There are many factors that can cause you deep sleep. You can consider these as contributing factors that can lead to a lack of deep sleep.
If your sleep drive gets weakened, the proportion of deep sleep can get affected. Some people are also affected by certain sleep disorders. Sleep Apnea is known to cause recurrent awakenings. Substance abuse and withdrawal can also affect the quality of your sleep.
Sleep is important for the betterment of your overall personality. It affects your health – mentally, physically and otherwise. If you have recently gone through an accident, or endured an injury, the doctor will advise you to get adequate amounts of sleep. Deep sleep helps relieve chronic pain. Your growth hormone can also be affected by the lack of deep sleep. Dementia, the condition that hampers your brain functioning and memory, can also be triggered due to this.
Foods that might improve your sleep:
Brahmi is a pure sleep-inducing essence. Many people have applauded the magical effects of Brahmi. Brahmi supplements support calming sleep while helping improve concentration and alertness. It also encourages deep sleep in individuals.
Ashwagandha is often used for its anxiety and stress-relieving effects. The herb reduces the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands of your body. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for inducing insomnia, high blood pressure, as well as depression. This can be consumed in the form of powder, tablets or capsules right before you hit the bed. Ashwagandha tablets also known as sound sleep capsules are the best when consumed before
In conclusion, if there is one thing you should take away from this blog it’s that you should focus on getting adequate amounts of sleep, as it helps recover your body on a wholesome level. Every organ of our body works around the clock for the whole of our life, so, we should learn to give it enough rest periods and replenish our energy as and when needed.
We are a team of food scientists and Ayurveda experts at Kapiva. Our mission is to raise awareness and educate people on ancient principles and herbs found in traditional texts. We work together to develop the most comprehensive content on Ayurveda which is grounded in peer-reviewed, scientific research.