10 Ways To Increase Deep Sleep
Scientists may not have found the exact reason why we sleep just yet, but what we do know is that deep sleep is directly linked to both our mental and physical health.
Our lifestyle choices can mean that it’s not always possible to achieve deep sleep night after night. However, by following a set routine and creating new healthy habits, you can wake up feeling more restful every day.
Take a read below of our top 10 sleep tips and you’ll be on your way to a sound night’s slumber in no time.
Create a calming sleeping environment
The room where you sleep should be a calming sanctuary and a place where you feel you can fully and comfortably unwind. To create a soothing sleeping environment, try to reduce noise in your room and keep a comfortable temperature in your room. For the best night’s sleep possible, we also recommend investing in high-quality bedding and pillows such as our Dream Pillow and Kalm pillow.
Try a weighted blanket
One of the best ways to experience better, deeper sleep is by using a stress-relieving weighted blanket or cooling weighted blanket. By easing stress and regulating body temperature, weighted blankets are able to calm your heart rate and breathing, helping you to fully wind down.
You can think of a weighted blanket like a big warm and cosy hug that you can wrap yourself up in!
Listen to deep sleep music
Listening to relaxing music at bedtime has the potential to improve your overall sleep quality and promote more restorative deep sleep. This is because calming music has been evidenced to lower your blood pressure as well as slow your breathing and heart rate.
Limit light exposure
By blocking out light in your environment, you can help to stabilise your body’s circadian rhythm, our body’s natural 24-hour internal clock which regulates our sleep cycles and responds to light changes. When you can’t control the lighting in your environment, we best recommend wearing a sleep mask to shut out all intrusive light.
Aromatherapy with essential oils is one of the best ways to promote full body and mind relaxation. Our mood-boosting Aromatherapy diffuserscome ready with a free essential oil – simply add 20-25 drops of your favourite essential oil and wait a few moments for your room to fill with calming fragrance. Better sleep is just a scent away!
Switch off devices
With technology being such a big part of many of our lives, it can sometimes be tricky to switch off and fully disconnect before bedtime. Try replacing your phone with a book or journal and you’ll soon feel the benefits of this new bedtime routine.
Eat more fibre
Recent research has evidenced that eating foods containing high levels of fibre can increase the amount of time you spend in deep sleep, while foods with less fibre, more saturated fat and sugar is associated with less restorative sleep. The best fibre-rich foods to incorporate in your diet for deeper sleep include chickpeas, avocados, pears, oats, lentils and even dark chocolate!
Go to bed at the same time every night
Committing to a consistent sleep schedule will allow you to get the best amount of sleep every night and further support your circadian rhythm. Eventually, your body will naturally adjust to your new routine and you’ll begin to feel tired and ready for bed at the same time every day.
If you can find 30 minutes to exercise every day, we promise it’ll be worthwhile. Not only does exercise help us to maintain a healthy weight, but it also improves our brain health and promotes deeper sleep by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and how long we spend awake. One study found that those who exercise at 8pm or later fall asleep more quickly, experience an optimal amount of deep sleep and wake up feeling more rejuvenated.
Manage stress levels
Our stress levels and quality of sleep are directly connected to one another, as the brain chemicals that help our body to stop producing stress hormones are the same chemicals linked to deep sleep. So, the more deep sleep you get, the less stress and anxiety you will feel the next day.
It’s important to check in with yourself every once in a while to see how you’re feeling. We recommend firstly trying to identify what is causing you the most stress in your life and writing it down in a journal or talking with someone you trust. Following a healthy, balanced diet and making time for doing the things that you love the most are two other big stress-busters.
What causes a lack of deeper sleep?
If you’ve been struggling to achieve deeper sleep, this could be for a number of reasons.
- One of the most common reasons is due to sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea or periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS) which causes involuntary movement of the legs. For further advice, we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional who will be able to provide you with the appropriate treatment.
- Alcohol, stimulants such as caffeine and certain medications can also affect how deeply you sleep, especially if you are consuming these close to when you go to bed.
- Another reason why you may be finding it difficult to achieve deep sleep is because you’re napping too much or spending too much time in bed. This can lead to a weakened sleep drive, meaning you may lose your ability to maintain a normal sleep cycle.
How much deep sleep do I need?
Sleep experts recommend around 7-8 hours of sleep per night, however one study found that as much as 37% of Brits aren’t getting enough sleep.
The amount of sleep you need can vary from person to person as everyone’s sleep needs are different. Some people are able to sleep for as little as 6 hours per night and still feel refreshed when they wake up, while others need 10 hours.
If you’re getting 8 hours of sleep a night, you should be hitting between an hour and just under two hours of deep sleep.