I spent many years of my life sleeping terribly and not knowing why. It is frustrating not feeling that you have gotten a good night of deep, restorative sleep; you end up waking up not feeling refreshed.
Below are some tips on ways to help get more deep sleep.
Many of the tips you may be familiar and others maybe not.
What is Deep Sleep?
Deep sleep is defined as stage three of the four stages of healthy sleep. Deep sleep is also called slow-wave sleep and is the deepest phase of non-REM sleep we go through.
Deep sleep is characterised by seeing delta waves on an EEG reading if you have a test done in a sleep clinic.
Benefits of Deep Sleep
- Helps memory consolidation (short-term and long-term memory).
- Helps strengthen the immune system.
- Aids cell growth and regeneration.
- Increase blood supply to muscles.
Ways to Get More Deep Sleep
1. Sleep In a Cool Bedroom
A room temperature of between 15-18 degrees centigrade (59-65 degrees F) is optimal for sleep. This is for two reasons.
First reason is, when you sleep your body temperature goes down and then starts to warm up towards the end of your sleep as a signal to wake up. So. if you sleep in a cooler room than you are more likely to be more comfortable, less likely to wake up during the night and generally get a better night’s sleep.
Second reasons is, we did not evolve in comfort; we evolved sleeping outside of in basic dwellings, no access to central heating.
We evolved sleeping in the cold, so let’s embrace it.
2. Block Blue Light at Night
In order to have the most optimal sleep possible humans need to produce peak melatonin during the hours of darkness.
Melatonin is the sleep hormone and when it is not secreted properly at the correct times of day the result is poor sleep.
The blue light emitted from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, LED/fluorescent lights and televisions is suppressing the secretion of melatonin. This is the way that blue light affects your sleep.
The only natural source of blue light during the day is the sun.
When the sun goes down the human body should not be exposed to blue light as we evolved with darkness when the sun disappeared at night.
With huge amounts of artificial blue light 24 hours a day; it is no wonder over 1 billion people worldwide have sleep disorders.
This amount of people with sleep disorders is worrying, but there is an easy fix. People with sleep disorders need to block blue light at night and easily do so with blue light blocking glasses.
Wearing the right pair of blue light glasses lenses, like red or amber tinted lens glasses 2 to 3 hours before bed will block the troublesome blue light wavelengths from hitting your eyes and allow the pineal gland to secrete melatonin and allow you to gradually feel tired as the night goes on.
People often comment that their sleep improves after just one night of wearing BLUblox blue light glasses.
3. Remove All Electronic Devices at Night
You bedroom should be your sleeping quarters and for sex, nothing else.
Electronic devices in your bedroom brings 3 issues.
- First reason is they give out blue light which has been shown to disrupt sleep when used up to a few hours before bed.
- Second reason is they give out non-native electromagnetic frequencies which disrupt sleep patterns among other ugly health concerns.
- Third reason is they do not allow your brain to switch off and prepare for sleep.
Remove televisions, laptops and digital clocks from your bedroom. If you need to tell the time in the night then leave your phone in the room, but make sure it is on airplane mode, face down and has a blue light filter app or external cover installed.
4. Completely Black Out Light From Your Bedroom
Once you have improved your blue light issues in your home you have only addressed part of the problem.
Blue light, as we know, impairs the release of melatonin.
When melatonin cannot be produced during sleep periods we suffer from disrupted sleep. Blue light can even affect blind people so we know that even with closed eyes blue light will disrupt sleep.
Before technology we would have slept in complete darkness, outside would be lit up the moon and stars only.
These days’ street lights give out powerful blue light, which is creeping into our bedrooms through poorly designed curtains.
We must ensure that we either have complete blackout curtains installed or wear a sleep mask whilst sleeping so we are not exposed to outside blue light once we have nodded off to sleep. We recommend our BLUblox REMedy sleep mask.
5. Expose Yourself to Red Light at Night
Whilst blue light is highly detrimental to sleep, it appears that red light is therapeutic. This is most likely due to our evolution in partnership with fire.
Fire allowed us to see and keep warm during the night when we were hunter gatherers. Fire gives off large amounts of red light.
Studies have also shown that red light helps secretion of melatonin.
Therefore, you may want to replace your blue light bulbs in your bedroom with red incandescent bulbs or the BLUblox Lumi LED Light bulbs.
One trick that also helped me was the introduction of a Himalayan salt lamp to my bedroom. Not only does it give off red light, it also gives off negative ions, highly beneficial for health and sleep.
6. Avoid Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine in drinks like coffee and tea can help wake you up in the morning, but they can contribute to poor sleep in the evening.
If you are struggling to get enough deep sleep try not consuming any caffeinated drinks or foods after lunchtime or at least 5-6 hours before your bedtime.
7. Avoid Alcohol in the Evening
Drinking alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and spirits can make you feel tired and help the onset of sleep, but the alcohol can negatively affect the quality of the sleep you get.
Try not drinking any alcohol to help you fall asleep and alongside the other tips to see if that makes you feel like you got a deep sleep.
8. Have a Workout That Day
Exercising can help your sleep patterns and quality of sleep. We need sleep to restore our bodies from the exhaustion effects of working out.
We would try doing heavy workouts during the day like weight lifting and keeping lighter workouts like Yoga and stretching for the later afternoon.
9. Avoid Naps Late in the Day
Napping can be a sign you are exhausted and not sleeping well.
Napping too late in the day, because you are tired, is not a good thing as it can compromise your deep sleep in the evening.
10. Rule Out Medical Conditions
Lastly, you should keep in mind that common medical conditions like sleep apnea have a negative effect on deep sleep.
If you are struggling to get enough deep sleep and you have been told you snore at night or have other symptoms of sleep apnea then you should consult your local healthcare provider to look at more options.
If you are having struggling to fall asleep, feeling you have poor sleep, try incorporating some, or ideally all, of the above into your daily pre-bed routine!