Sleep is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle, but not all sleep is the same. It is a complex process that occurs in four to six cycles. Each cycle has phases, and each phase has stages. For now, let’s put all of that aside. What you really need to know about sleep is that certain stages are more critical than others, such as deep sleep.
Deep sleep is when your body gets to work repairing muscles and tissues. It helps to regulate glucose metabolism and replenish your energy. Deep sleep is also critical to memory, cognitive function, language, and motor skills.
Just because you go to sleep doesn’t mean you get the right amount of deep sleep. If you manage to sleep through the night but still wake up feeling tired, chances are you are not getting the deep sleep you need.
Here are six things you can do to improve your sleep quality and get the right amount of deep sleep to wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
When planning how to increase deep sleep, exercise is an excellent place to start. Exercise isn’t just about managing your weight or building muscle. It also increases your deep sleep.
Medical science hasn’t fully determined why exercise is essential for deep sleep. However, they have proven that it will increase the amount of slow-wave sleep (the medical term for deep sleep) you get every night. It also relieves stress, which helps you fall asleep faster.
The timing of your exercise matters, too. For instance, don’t exercise before bed, as exercising too late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
2. Limit Your Caffeine
We’re not saying throw your cup-o’-joe out the window; that would be criminal. What we are saying is to limit the hours you drink it. There is evidence that caffeine later in the day can reduce your deep sleep by as much as one hour. So, even if you are the type of person that can drink coffee all day and go right to sleep, you may not be getting the same quality of sleep.
Keep in mind, too, that caffeine exists beyond the realm of coffee. You’ll find it in tea, chocolate, and some sodas. So do your homework, determine what has caffeine and what doesn’t, and plan accordingly. Make your late afternoons and evenings caffeine-free.
3. Say No to Alcohol
If you want to know how to get more deep sleep, then alcohol is something you should avoid. If you like having a nightcap because it helps you sleep, think again. Yes, alcohol may help you drift off to sleep, but it affects the overall quality of your sleep, including your ability to reach that deep sleep state.
Drinking to help you sleep is a double edged sword in another way, too. You build up a tolerance to alcohol. So, you need more of it over time to get the same effects. What started as a single nightcap can progress into hours of drinking in the evening.
4. Have a Sleep Routine
As humans, we thrive off routine. Our bodies are programmed to look for patterns, instructing us on how and when to function. Our sleep-wake cycles are no different. By developing a healthy nightly routine, you tell your body it is time to sleep.
The exact routine is less critical than you doing the same thing at the same time each day. Do something that helps you cycle down, though. That will mean something different to everyone. For you, it might mean taking a hot bath or reading a book. Someone else’s night routine might be writing in a journal, petting the dog, or drinking chamomile tea.
By creating a routine for bed, you put your mind on a schedule, so you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on your days off. You might be surprised how much more you get done on those days when you don’t sleep through them trying to catch up!
5. Only Nap When Necessary
Naps are designed to help you catch up but are more like a habit that interferes with the quality of your nighttime sleep. The body has a clock that tells it when to sleep and when to be awake. Naps tend to interfere with that process.
On the contrary, high-performing athletes are often encouraged to nap. If you feel like you need a nap, try to make it very short, and only lie down if it’s necessary to catch up from a night of inadequate sleep.
You may also practice what’s known as non-sleep deep rest (NSDR), a meditative state of deep rest that can help reduce stress and re-energize your mind and body without interfering with your sleep process.
6. Set Up Your Bedroom Right
Your bedroom should be a place with limited activity. It shouldn’t be where you eat, for example. You want your mind to associate this room with only sleep and maybe a few extracurricular activities.
Also, make the room as sleep-friendly as possible. There should be no bright lights or loud noises to disrupt your sleep. Keep the room dark and cool in the evening to set the stage for going to bed.
In the evening, put all your electronic devices away an hour before sleep. If you need background noise, try a machine that plays white or soothing sounds like rainfall. If you like music, consider binaural beats instead. They will create that same sensation but not cloud your brain with distracting lyrics and other sounds.
Your bed should be the focus of the room and be able to adapt to your body as you sleep. Until recently, that was a big ask, but smart technology has changed how we do things, even sleep.
ErgoSportive: Deep Sleep Made Simple
The quality of our deep sleep is a critical component to our overall well-being. At ErgoSportive, we understand the benefits of getting a great night’s sleep, which is why we’ve created the ultimate Adjustable Smart Bed to ensure you get the best night’s sleep of your life, every night.
The ErgoSportive Adjustable Smart Bed offers smart sensor technology that will improve the quality of your sleep so you wake up energized and ready for the day. The health sensors monitor your sleep stages and other health metrics, allowing you to easily identify any anomalies in your sleeping trends and adjust your lifestyle, diet, or other factors that may impact your sleep accordingly.
The ErgoSportive Smart System integrates the non-contact sensors on the bed with an app that provides you with critical sleep metrics. It is the best way to know if lifestyle changes lead to better sleep quality. The advanced technology found in the ErgoSportive Smart System even connects with your Garmin wearable device for more advanced recovery advice. The bed also has a remote that allows you to program your favorite positions based on what you are doing, like reading a book.
By employing today’s best science-backed tips and latest sleep technology, you can sleep better, recover faster, and, well–the rest is up to you! Visit the ErgoSportive Blog today for the latest in sleep research, or to learn more about our Sleep Technology.