For optimal health, nothing is more important than getting a good night’s sleep. Positive effects on memory, cognition, energy, muscle regeneration, immune function, and more have been shown. Deep sleep, one of the four basic phases of sleep everyone passes through nightly, is an automatic process. Yet, there are methods to increase the total time spent in deep sleep and the quality of sleep you get each night, both of which are good for your health and will make your life better. Find out how to improve your sleep quality with these eight simple and natural methods, some of which may surprise you.

Definition of Deep Sleep

The term “deep sleep” refers to a certain phase of the sleep cycle. The third stage of sleep, out of a total of four, is the most toughest to wake someone from.

Your muscles will loosen up, your heart rate and breathing rate will decrease, and your body will start the healing process as you enter deep sleep. In addition, the brain waves generated during this stage slow down, which is another reason why it is called slow-wave sleep.

The specialists all agree that this time in bed is crucial, since it’s when the body recovers and thrives. It may also help one’s immune system, as well as one’s ability to think creatively, remember details, and use logic. But how to increase deep sleep?

Insomnia Caused by Rapid Eye Movements vs. Deep Slumber

Our bodies go through the same four phases of sleep night after night. Both REM and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) phases of sleep are included. The first three phases, including deep sleep, make up non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, whereas the fourth and final stage is REM sleep.

Sleep Stages: Light Sleep vs. Deep Slumber

Light sleep precedes deep sleep in the progression of sleep stages. Light sleep, also known as non-rapid eye movement sleep, occurs after the gradual decline from wakefulness to sleep.

Light sleep is characterised by a decrease in heart rate, breathing rate, and muscular tension. Yet, light sleep is distinguished from deep sleep by brief intervals of heightened brain activity.

How Much Total Sleep Time Is Ideal?

How much time you spend sleeping each night may be a good measure of how much deep sleep you need. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep every night, as recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). All four phases of sleep are experienced at this period, although stage 2, commonly known as light sleep, is where most of the time is spent. Our sleep patterns change to include less REM sleep and more deep sleep when we start to wind down earlier in the evening.