You have probably heard of deep sleep or slow-wave-sleep and its essentiality to your body, but what exactly is it?
During sleep, your body cycles through five stages; deep sleep is regarded as a combination of step three and four. In these stages, your breathing rate and brain waves become slow, and it’s hard to wake up even in loud noise. It's responsible for helping the brain to process the day's encountered information, and without it, information cannot be converted into memory.
What’s the Mechanism Behind Deep Sleep?
This is a stage that is associated with the slowest brainwaves while you are sleep. Slow brain waves are due to the synchronization of EEG activity characterized by a below 5Hz frequency range. The first stage of the wave is a downstate, which results from the hyper-polarizing sect's inhibition. This makes the neurons in the neocortex to be silent. The next set is a “downstate,” which is a depolarizing phase.
The neurons momentarily fire at a high rate. Compared with Rapid eye movement sleep, SWS is much different as it involves no slow eye movement; it has moderate muscle tone and lacks genital activities. You can also check the types of neurons here.
Why is Deep Sleep Good for You?
Processing of Memories
It helps in the consolidation of new memories. This can also be referred to as “sleep-dependent memory processing. For those with, “primary insomnia” memory consolidation is always a challenge, and they can't pro-actively complete memory tasks like other ordinary people.
On the other hand, long-term memory is enhanced by the interaction between neocortical and hippocampal networks. Furthermore, declarative memory which includes, “semantic” and “episodic memory,” is highly boosted with deep sleep.
Your body physically restores during sleep. In deep sleep, it heals and removes metabolic wastes from long periods of activity. Besides that, anabolic hormones are secreted during this stage.
Mechanisms You Can Use to Get More Deep Sleep
Before approaching ways that will help you get sufficient deep sleep, it would be best to know how much you earn. Detection ways include:
These track your sleeping movements overnight. The more the number of turns you make indicates that you are not getting deep sleep. However, it would be best to think of this as the last approach as it's not reliable. It will, therefore, be wise if you consider a sleep clinic polysomnography.
Rate of Exhaustion
Waking up when you have a worn-out feeling means you didn't get enough.
Ways to Get More Deep Sleep
Listen to ASMR Videos
The autonomous sensory meridian response has different stimuli. To respondents, it triggers a tingling sound, a static sensation across their scalp, at the back of their neck, and at times, other areas in relation to the type of stimuli. It's a sensation accompanied by a feeling of being sound and calm. According to the ASMR study, 82 % of respondents used it as a deep sleep aid, and 70 % used it for stress management.
Up to You
There are many ASMR vloggers out there. Should you choose to use them, get to know its specific trigger, then pull up any downloading site and see if the videos are compatible with you.
Make Sure Your Diet is Sleep-Friendly
According to the American sleep association, low carbohydrates, compared with other mixed diets, provide more deep sleep time. Furthermore, consumption of tart cherry juice before bedtime will increase the extent of your deep sleep time.
Try to Listen to the Hypnotic Sleep Audition
In 2014, the University of Fribourg in Switzerland studies helped found out that those who listened to sleep-enhancing audio tapes containing hypnotic suggestions spent much time in deep sleep than those who never listened.
The research proved a significant increment of 80 % more sleep. Different audios are in line with hypnotism, and they may help outdo deep sleep deficit.
Use Pink Noise
These are the voices of water waves lapping the beach and the rustling of trees in the wind. Basing on the Northwestern Medicine study group, it was observed that 13 participants significantly increased their deep sleep time after being experimented on with pink noise. Some machines feature all these varieties of sound. For deep sleep seekers, give one a try and see how it turns out.
Avoid Caffeinated Drinks and Drugs
Caffeinated beverages are prevalent with stimulants. You are advised to avoid stimuli that get rid of sleep for deep sleep, such as caffeine. Besides that, some drugs, such as serotonin-reuptake inhibitors SSRI, suppress deep sleep. People who experience day sleepiness might see it as a way out. Its consequences are a lack of deep night sleep, and you should avoid them completely.
Get Sufficient Exercise
Under the national sleep foundation‘s advice, it would be good for you to do thirty minutes of exercise five days a week. It will not only improve your deep sleep also the quality of your overall sleep.
Disorders That Can Cause Profound Sleep Disruption and Their Treatment
This is a difficulty in getting sleep. It's prevalent among adults, and it can be due to psychological stress, low sleep environment, an inconsistent sleep schedule, and excessive mental stimulation.
However, insomnia can be treated through behavioral changes such as a regular sleep schedule, avoiding stressful and stimulating activities before bed. The sleep environment can be fitted with drapes to shut out sunlight.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is a condition where normal breathing while sleeping pauses. It disrupts deep and regular sleep. It's a result of blockage of air from entering the respiratory tracts. Apnea can be diagnosed by a sleep study performed in a sleep clinic, and surgeries to free the airways can be done. Should you be diagnosed with its onset, preventive measures should be called into action.
Check here to know more about apnea.
A deep goodnight's sleep is essential to your health, just like eating and other necessities are. Unfortunately, there is a lot that can interrupt your natural deep sleep. It would be best if you were smart on diagnosing the quality of your sleep and if it's not deep, enact ways of getting more deep sleep.
Read more, How Much Deep Sleep Do you Need?