It feels very unfair. The alarm goes off and your partner jumps out of bed full of energy while you wake up tired. You go to bed at the same time almost every night and get up at the same time in the morning. How come it seems like you need more sleep than she does? This could be related to the amount of deep sleep you get. Since you are not the only one asking yourself this question, we have dedicated this article to the amount of deep sleep you need and how to improve your deep sleep.
Table of contents
Deep sleep, also called slow wave sleep, is the fourth of the five sleep phases of the sleep cycle and is essential for the recovery of body and mind. It is a period of about 20 minutes where your muscles are completely relaxed and your breathing is at a slow pace. It is a phase in which it is no fun to wake up. If you wake up during deep sleep, you will wake up quite dazed and you may not know where you are for a while. How did that happen?
Your brain is in a complete state of rest. If you had an EEG scan of your brain, you would only see large slow brain waves. Due to the low activity, your eyes hardly move. Also, your breathing and heart rate are at their lowest during this phase of the sleep cycle. Your body recovers during this period and that is why deep sleep is very important for your immune system. And as we mentioned earlier, waking up during deep sleep is no fun. Your brain reacts too slowly to process what is happening. We have probably all experienced or seen this. Sometimes it can be laughed at, but if it happens too often you miss something important. Also not an unimportant event during deep sleep is that the protein amyloid is removed. Researchers say this protein can cause Alzheimer’s. So you better get rid of this.
A human sleep cycle lasts about an hour and a half to two hours, of which deep sleep represents about 18%. This means that on average you are in deep sleep for about 20 minutes per completed sleep cycle. Pretty short when you consider that this is your most important recovery moment. So make sure you can sleep well. Read more about the sleep cycle in our blog: Insight into the different sleep phases of the sleep cycle.
While sleeping, you go through the sleep cycle a number of times. On average 3-6 times, of which the first 3 are essential to wake up rested. That means that you have to go through the deep sleep phase 3 times. So you need at least 1 hour of deep sleep to not start your day like a zombie. Now there is a difference between children and adults. The amount of deep sleep required builds up from birth and peaks in childhood. From the time you are a teenager, this gradually decreases. This varies considerably from person to person. Due to the major developments that we can experience, it is also possible that your body still asks for a lot of sleep for a long time to be able to process everything properly.
The consequences of too little deep sleep will not be unknown to most people. You will function less and you are quickly stimulated. One of the most common complaints of sleep-deprived people is that they have trouble concentrating. Of course, your energy level will be low and there is a good chance that you will struggle through the day.
Just like too little deep sleep, too much deep sleep can cause problems. Often if you sleep too much you still feel tired after waking up. Structurally too much deep sleep or sleep in general can actually increase the risk of stroke, heart attack or cardiac arrest. This is according to a study by the University of Cambridge.
Well, most people will rather have too little or too much deep sleep and therefore the question of how you can improve and prolong deep sleep is an interesting question to answer. We have some sleep tips to improve deep sleep.
In addition to the aforementioned sleeping tips, a tidy and calm head contributes to prolonging deep sleep. Taking a moment of rest several times during the day, for example by meditating, helps to clear your head. As a result, you often fall asleep faster, but you often sleep deeper and longer.
Sleeping in a good dark room and meditating contribute to mental peace. But sleeping on a good mattress contributes to physical rest. This is at least as important to sleep quickly and for a long time. We advise you to take a look at the Stellar mattress from Morningstar Sleeps. A mattress based on data that has been developed for every body type and sleeping position. And with a return rate of less than 4%, it’s proven to be the perfect mattress for just about anyone. You can try the Stellar mattress at home for 100 nights for free, in the comfort of your own bedroom. We believe that it will meet all expectations, but if not, we will also collect it from you for free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Deep sleep is the fourth stage of the sleep cycle and the most important stage for the recovery of body and mind. In this phase, brain and body activity is at its lowest and the proverbial battery is charged.
Minimum 1 hour per night. Deep sleep takes about 20 minutes per sleep cycle, so you will need to go through a sleep cycle at least 3 times.
Make sure the room is quiet and dark, don't eat or drink 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep and make sure you have a good bed + mattress.
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