Getting a night of deep sleep is certainly not getting any easier. While there have always been barriers to sleep, the arrival of technology—in the form of smartphones and tablets, specifically—has only presented new challenges for recharging overnight.
While we often hear that the average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, quality matters just as much as quantity. More and more people, especially as they age, are forced to make lifestyle changes to get more deep sleep.
The first half of the night is your deep sleep window. During this period, everything drops further: your heart rate, your breathing, your blood pressure, your muscle activity, and your body temperature (and you better believe we’ll come back to that). Deep sleep is most dense in the first half of the night, which happens right before our body drops to its lowest point temperature-wise.
This stage is also referred to as “delta sleep” in reference to delta brain waves, which are slower and indicate you’ve reached a deeply meditative and dream-free sleep.
As advocates of a deeper night’s sleep, today we’ll take a look at tips on how to increase deep sleep.
How to Get More Deep Sleep
Let’s discuss some ways to ensure you’re getting enough of it and how to improve deep sleep. Since that temperature drop is such a crucial aspect of the deep sleep stage, finding ways to activate that “sleep switch” can help increase your levels of deep sleep.
It’s recommended to try and avoid any form of caffeine seven hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant, making it harder for you to fall asleep. It also plays a part in reducing the amount of deep sleep you get.
Leading up to bedtime, try to consume tea, water or other non-caffeinated drinks. Additional drinks can help induce sleep, including chamomile or warm milk.
Regular Exercise Routine
Working out is not only wonderful for your mind and body, but it also can help you get quality deep sleep. Studies indicate that individuals who work out 2.5 hours per week are twice as likely to get a better night's sleep. Additionally, individuals who work out at least 30 minutes of moderate or mild exercise may see a difference in sleep quality the same night.
Exercising has its benefits, but it's recommended to avoid intense workouts right before bedtime. Doing so can increase your heart rate, interrupting your sleep and duration.
Yoga is a terrific way to center your mind and body, but did you know that it can improve sleep quality? It sure can, by practicing cyclic meditation. This type of meditation is an exercise that combines yoga with periods of rest lying on our back—performing this type of yoga improved deep sleep. Before going to bed, try this 3-minute bedtime yoga routine to help relax the mind and body. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
White or Pink Noise
Research has discovered that sleeping with white or pink noise can play a role in falling asleep and staying asleep. White noise, such as an air purifier, fan, or white noise machine, is commonly used to help block and drown out the noises that can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. Pink noise is often calming nature sounds, including waves crashing on the beach, rainfall, or leaves rustling in the trees. These types of noise can increase deep sleep.
Sleeping Cooler at Night
Obviously, using products like our Cube, OOLER sleep systems or chiliBLANKET can help you kickstart that temperature drop once you’re already under the covers. Causing a significant change in your body temperature—even if it’s only .1 degrees—goes a long way toward ensuring you’re sleeping deeper for longer.
The ”sleep switch” occurs four hours before the coldest valley of body temperature, when you sleep drive is at its highest. If you use one of our products to warm you up, ideally you’d want to drop it after about 20 minutes to prime yourself to get better deep sleep.
Find Your Own Deep Sleep Sweet Spot
Though sleep needs vary from individual to individual, they are based on ingrained habits and bedtime routines, listen to your body; if you are tired go to sleep, but if you aren’t sleeping for more than 20 minutes don’t stay in bed. Since deep sleep happens early, you can always try going to bed a little earlier, in half-hour increments, to find the right timing. After that, if you’re still struggling to sleep, seeing a sleep specialist might help you uncover the root of the problem.
Then you can take action that will have you catching deeper Zs in no time. Because if you’ve learned anything from this post, it should be this: getting more deep sleep is important for your long-term health, so you should be taking every measure possible to ensure you’re getting it on a consistent basis.