The deep sleep period of your sleep cycle is the most important part. It’s when your body is at its most rested and when it is healing and restoring tissue. Deep sleep is when your body starts to effect repairs and build muscle tissue, handling essential processes for your body.
Deep sleep is also called delta sleep or slow wave sleep, and you need to have plenty of time in this deep sleep part of the cycle in order to feel your best and to function like you should. Without enough deep sleep, you won’t feel rested in the morning, and you will heal more slowly. It will take longer for bruises to disappear, for muscle soreness to go away, and for muscles to develop. This is how important deep sleep is to your sleep cycle and to your daily life.
We’re going to talk about how to increase deep sleep time so that you can enjoy more of the deep sleep benefits. The tips we will be providing are just some of the ways you can increase your time in deep sleep mode.
Shut Out Distractions
What happens to a lot of people who aren’t getting enough deep sleep is that they are disturbed during the night. Maybe it’s a light or a sound or movement in the room. Whatever it is, you need to determine what distractions are keeping you from deep sleep and cut them out as much as possible.
That may mean getting darker curtains so that sunlight or outside lights don’t wake you up. It may mean wearing earplugs or an eye mask to shut out sounds and sights. You may need to ask your roommates or family members to not disturb you until a certain time in the morning so that you can get enough deep sleep. You may also want to turn off notifications on your phone so that you’re not hearing noises throughout the night as you receive messages.
Help Yourself Go to Sleep Faster
It’s not just distractions during the night you have to watch out for. You also have to look out for what is keeping you from going to sleep quickly.
Here are a few things that can prevent you from falling asleep shortly after you turn off the lights and close your eyes:
- using a screen before bedtime
- stress or anxiety
- having caffeine within a few hours of bedtime
- having wine before bed
- getting your heart rate up shortly before you sleep
- uncomfortable room temperature
If you’re looking for how to increase time spent in deep sleep, you need to be looking for any of these issues and try to eliminate them as much as possible. It’s advisable to turn off all the screens in your bedroom about 30 minutes to an hour before you go to sleep. This will help your mind to relax, as screens can be mentally stimulating.
You also want to try to keep your caffeine drinking limited to about five hours before bedtime. It can take a full 4-5 hours for caffeine to fully exit your system, and it could still be affecting you as you go to bed and keeping you from sleeping properly.
If you didn’t get enough to eat before you went to bed or you’re very thirsty, you may be uncomfortable and have trouble falling asleep. You may want to consider having a small, healthy snack about an hour before bed to stave off hunger. Some people keep a bottle of water by their bed so if they get thirsty while they’re trying to fall asleep or thirsty during the night, they can fall back to sleep quickly without having to get out of bed for water.
You also want to figure out how to keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortable. That may require opening a window, bringing in a fan, adjusting the air conditioning or heating, or adding a blanket to your bed.
Look out for those things that stress you and get your heart rate up. What a lot of people do who suffer from anxiety, fears, stress, or other things that can increase their heart rate and blood pressure, is to meditate, pray, or simply spend time in silence before bedtime.
This helps their mind and body to relax, lowering their blood pressure and their heart rate. It prepares their mind and body for sleep, and it can help you if you feel stressed and worried at night.
What happens with many people is that as soon as they lay down on their pillow, they feel very anxious. They start thinking about all the things that worry them. This can keep them from getting enough deep sleep and feeling rested the next morning. Spending some time meditating, praying, or just counting up your blessings can really help to ease your mind and ease you into sleep.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Exercise
One of the best methods for how to increase your deep sleep time is to exercise throughout the day. If you get enough exercise, you will not just wear yourself out so that you fall asleep easier, but you’ll give your body more reason to go into deep sleep. This is when muscles are built and your body tries to heal itself. Your body will want to go into deep sleep so that it can heal soreness and so that it can build muscle, and at the same time the tiredness from exercising will help you reach that deep sleep part of the sleep cycle faster and easier.
How much exercise should you get each day to ensure that you are increasing your deep sleep time? The bare minimum is about five minutes of exercise that increases your heart rate. If you can get about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day, that will definitely help your sleep schedule.
If you believe you’re not getting enough deep sleep, one of the first areas you should target is your exercise regimen. Consider how much exercise you’re getting and find ways to increase that so that you fall asleep faster and spend more time in deep sleep. Making a small adjustment of about 10 or 15 minutes more of exercise each day can have a big impact on your sleep schedule and how much your sleep benefits you.
Have a Regular Sleep Schedule
Something else that helps you get more deep sleep is to have a regulated sleep time. If you have a set time where you go to sleep and wake up, your body will get into a rhythm and your mind will be prepared to go to sleep at a certain time and wake up at a certain time. This allows your body to have a proper sleep cycle that’s already planned out and scheduled.
How to increase time in deep sleep? Try to go to bed at the same time each night, if possible. You should also try to wake up at around the same time each day. This ensures you’re getting the same amount of sleep most nights. Make sure you also get enough time to sleep, somewhere between six and eight hours each night.
If you can get your sleep schedule under control and work your life around that, it will greatly benefit your sleep cycle. You’ll wake up feeling more rested and you’ll fall asleep more easily. All of this helps you to get more from your deep sleep time and two spend more time in deep sleep.
There are so many health benefits that come from getting adequate deep sleep time. So, if you’re struggling spend enough time in deep sleep, check out the tips we’ve given you and try them out for yourself to see if they can make a difference for you.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://ahumanbody.com.