Throughout the night, we shift through different stages of sleep. Light and deep sleep are both important for our health. But what does it mean? Find out What Is Deep Sleep And Why Is It Important?
What Is Deep Sleep?
Deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep is a stage of NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. This stage of sleep generally occurs in the third stage of sleep. During this cycle of sleep, your body is at it's most relaxed and won't wake easily, even if there are loud noises. Generally, if you wake up feeling groggy and tired, you're probably waking up from a deep sleep.
During deep sleep, you experience certain physiological changes. The heart rate slows, muscles relax and brain waves are at their slowest of the sleep cycle. Deep sleep often happens upon falling asleep and continues throughout the first half of your sleep.
What Are The Benefits?
Deep sleep is the most restorative stage of sleep. Our bodies do the most repairing during this period. This period is also where our energy is restored so if you find yourself waking up tired, you're probably not getting enough of it.
This is also the cycle where you process information from the day. A lack of deep sleep means your brain cannot convert information learnt that day into memories. This is why cramming the night before an exam rarely works!
The best way to get more deep sleep is to set a sleep schedule and stick to it. If you find yourself going to sleep at random times and waking up at random, you'll likely be losing out on the deep sleep cycle. Another factor is ensuring your sleep environment is comfortable. The most common cause for waking in the night is an uncomfortable bed. Remember to replace your mattress at least every 8 years and pillows every 2 years.