All sleep stages are not of equal importance. REM, or rapid eye movement, is one of several sleep stages. But the right amount of deep sleep is crucial to your overall health and a good night’s sleep. Deep sleep helps to restore both your brain and your body.
Feeling rested is impossible without the proper amount of deep sleep. Thus, how exactly do you get more hours of deep sleep?
Keep bedtime consistent
Maintaining a sleep schedule is of paramount importance for getting more deep sleep. Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day can improve the quality of your sleep. In order to ensure your body remains in deep sleep for the right amount of time, try sticking to your sleep schedule on a consistent basis.
Maintain a healthy diet
Drinks and meals are easy to underestimate when you’re considering to get more deep sleep. However, a healthy diet is essential for a healthy sleep schedule. Avoid specific heavy foods like pasta or ice cream before bed. Caffeine should also be avoided at least four hours before you’re planning to go to bed. Alcohol is also detrimental to sleep quality, because it makes it harder to stay asleep throughout the whole night (although it often makes you fall asleep easier).
Whether through meditation, or other relaxation methods, it’s important to take time to calm your body and brain before bed, and will help you from staying awake late into the night thinking about daily life issues that cause stress.
No bright lights
The blue light emitted from screens may throw off your body’s internal clock, the so-called circadian rhythm. Your brain may trick you into believing it is not night time because of such light, making it more difficult to fall asleep and get enough deep sleep.
The best way to track is by understanding how much deep sleep you’re already getting. The Pod (by Eight Sleep) includes built-in sensors that analyze and compile your sleep data every night. You’ll be able view a comprehensive sleep report on the app and check how much deep sleep you’re averaging per night. And you’ll also discover how you sleep by automatically tracking data such as time asleep, bedtime, wake-up time, toss and turns, sleep breaks, heart rate, respiratory rate, light v. deep sleep, bed and room temperature.
Temperature is probably the biggest issue affecting sleep quality, causing frequent interruptions and thus reducing the period of your deep sleep. The Pod (by Eight Sleep) learns your temperature preferences and then adjusts the thermal environment on both sides of the bed automatically, so you (and your partner) can fall asleep faster and remain in deep sleep for much longer.
Even when we are awake, freezing and sweating are uncomfortable. To ensure good sleep quality, make sure the temperature of all aspects of your sleep environment (including your own internal temperature), are just right.
Temperature rises during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. However, during non-rapid eye movement sleep, the temperature of both your body and brain falls.
It’s important to monitor how much time you spend in each cycle per night so you can adjust your bedroom temperature accordingly. Using a sleep tracker is a helpful way to ascertain your body temperature changes and sleep cycles nightly.
Temperature also plays a major role in our body clock (i.e. circadian rhythm). Temperature informs the brain and body when to fall asleep and wake up. Our body temperature lowers naturally before sleep, thus it is important that external temperature factors such as sheets and blankets don’t interfere with your body’s natural circadian cycle. Taking a shower before bed can also help your body temperature lower so you can fall and stay asleep.
As you sleep, your body temperature gradually changes. Body temperature rises slightly to help us wake up in the mornings. Cotton pajamas and bed sheets are not only comfortable, but also help to regulate your body’s natural sleep temperature.
During REM sleep, the body temperature is determined by the temperature of your bedroom. So in order to get a good night’s sleep, you’ve got to regulate your bedroom temperature, and the easiest way to do it is by adjusting or turning off the air conditioner, fan and/or heat.
Finding the right sleep temperature means taking the time to make sure the temperatures of your bedroom, mattress and body are properly regulated. Once you make sure that your sleep temperature is right, you’ll find that falling and staying asleep doesn’t have to be a nightly challenge.
Even if your body temperature is properly regulated, your bed temperature can throw off your sleep. And certain materials in many memory foam mattresses can cause you to sleep hot.