How Much Deep Sleep Do You Need?

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Jul 5, 2018 | Last Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Deep Sleep

Sleep is a complex phenomenon. You know this, right?

While each stage of sleep plays an equally important role, there is one that deserves your attention the most, and that is…

…deep sleep.

While it rarely lasts longer than 2 hours, it has the biggest impact on the quality of your rest.

Want to learn more about this sleeping phase and find out how you can maximize its positive influence on your body?

Read on!

What Is Deep Sleep?

To put it simply, deep sleeping is a phase in which your body and mind are completely disengaged from what is occurring around them in the real world. That’s why it’s so hard to wake people up when they are in this stage.

“The existence of various sleep stages was scientifically proven in the 30’s. Initially, their importance was highly underrated and wasn’t taken into account by regular people. Nowadays, the understanding of each stage allows significantly improving the sleeping patterns and overall health of a person.”

Deep slumber usually takes place during the first two sleep cycles. After that, its effect is weakened. This means that to get the most out of this stage, you have to fall asleep earlier. If you won’t manage to sleep in this phase for long enough, you’ll feel tired throughout the day and won’t have enough energy.

Deep sleeping is primarily responsible for reducing your sleep drive, relaxing your muscles, and stabilizing your heart rate. Moreover, it gives your brain a chance to stop thinking and get rid of unneeded stress.

That’s not it:

You also have to keep in mind that this stage can be further divided into two phases[1]: non-REM sleep and REM sleep. The second term stands for “rapid eye movement” and represents the deepest sleeping experience.

At this time, your body is practically paralyzed while the brain goes into a hyperactive mode. During this stage, people experience their most vivid and lucid dreams. REM sleep is also important for calming your nerves and cleansing your brain from any negative memories.

What Is Deep Sleep

How Much Deep Sleep Do You Need?

The answer to the “How much deep sleep do you need?” question mostly depends on your age, physical complexion, and some other less important factors. The average number tends to be somewhere between 5 to 9 hours per night. That being said, sleep experts agree that if you feel tired at any point during the day, it means you aren’t spending enough time in the REM phase.

“The deep sleeping stage accounts for roughly 45-50% of the overall number. Most people spend about 20-20% in non-REM sleep, and 20-25% in the REM stage[2] that provides the bulk of the energy.”

Here’s the kicker:

While the figures above are true for a standard person, it isn’t that simple. As you get older, the amount of sleep you require changes. That’s why it’s recommended to adhere to the following numbers:

  • 7.5 to 8.5 hours for adults;
  • 8 to 9 hours for teenagers;
  • 10 to 11 hours for kids;
  • 12 to 18 hours for babies.

If you follow these numbers, you are likely to receive about 2 hours of deep sleeping, which should be enough for most people.

How to Get More of It?

Spending the right amount of time sleeping doesn’t always guarantee a good night’s rest. A lot of people can spend up to ten hours in bed and still wake up broken and exhausted because they’ve slept most of the night in the light stage.

If you’re one of those people, here’s a list of the most efficient tips on how to get more deep sleep:

  • Close the curtains. The darker the room, the more sleeping hormones (melatonin) your body will be able to produce.
  • Consider using earplugs. Outside noises are one of the main reasons why your body stays in the light sleeping stage and doesn’t sink in deeper. Here is a great list of Best Earplugs For Sleeping.
  • Purchase a high-quality pillow and mattress. The quality of the bed you lie on determines the level of relaxation and comfort you get to enjoy.
  • Use your phones and tablets less. The light emitted by the screens negatively affects the circadian rhythm and disrupts your sleep.
  • Maintain a regular sleeping schedule. The more nights you spend sleeping during the same hours, the better your body will know when it can shut off and go into REM mode.
  • Avoid sleeping in on the weekends. Your body doesn’t understand the difference between workdays and weekends, so a sudden change of rhythm can significantly damage the quality of your sleep.
  • Use lavender. The scent of lavender calms your nerves and helps your body relax.
  • Make use of a tracker. Sleeper trackers allow you to control your sleeping schedule, set alarms, adjust the temperature of your mattress, and much more!

Right Amount Of Time

How Can You Dive Into the Deep Sleeping Stage Faster?

There are several techniques and suggestions you can take advantage of to go into the deep sleep phase faster. They include:

  • Go to bed earlier. This way you’ll be asleep during the darkest hours when it’s easier to access the deep sleeping stage.
  • Take a relaxing bath or listen to some relaxing music. Having a bedtime routine helps your body prepare for sleep in the ultimate conditions.
  • Eat pumpkin seeds. They help your brain develop serotonin, which is very important for falling asleep easier.
  • Find the right temperature. Your bed should be moderately cool to lull you to sleep, but not so much that you don’t feel comfortable.
  • Stay clear from caffeine and heavy-calorie food near the evening to avoid overburdening your stomach.
  • Listen to your body. As soon as you start feeling sleepy, it means your body is ready to go to bed.

Read Next: 5 Tips To Quash Anxiety To Enjoy A Sounder Sleep At Night

Conclusion

Getting the right amount of deep sleep is vital for leading a healthy lifestyle. If you spend too much time in the light sleeping stages, you run the risk of waking up in the morning, feeling tired and unmotivated. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to create the right conditions for your body and mind to heal and renew their strength.

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