Sleep Cycle

What is Deep Sleep?

What is Deep Sleep?

We all know that getting your head down for seven, eight, or nine hours of sleep each night is optimum for health and wellbeing – but is it as easy as just tallying up those hours? 

The quality and type of sleep you’re getting is just as valuable as the amount of sleep you get each night. One of the most vital stages of sleep is “deep sleep”. This guide discusses what deep sleep is, where it comes in the sleep cycle, and how you can ensure you’re getting enough of it.  

How Deep Sleep Fits into the Sleep Cycle 

A night’s sleep contains five distinctive stages. The first four are non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stages and the fifth and final is a REM sleep cycle.  

Deep sleep occurs during stages three and four, which are both non-REM sleep stages. During the deep sleep period your body will be: 

  • In its calmest state – your heartbeat and breathing are slow, and your muscles are relaxed 
  • Relaxed and switched off – your brain activity is at its lowest throughout the whole cycle 
  • Cool – your body temperature is at its lowest 
  • Fast asleep – it’s more difficult to wake up during deep sleep than in any other sleep stage 

Occurring in the first half of the night, the first cycle of deep sleep lasts from 45 to 90 minutes. Subsequent deep sleep stages do occur, but they will gradually shorten in time. Once complete, your sleep cycle moves to REM sleep, where your heart rate and breathing increase and you’re most likely to dream. 

Why Deep Sleep is so Important 

Deep sleep is the most important sleep stage to maintaining good health and wellbeing. During deep sleep, your body and mind are in the best place to recover. The following takes place during deep sleep:  

  • Repair and growth of muscle tissues and bones 
  • Reinforcement of immune system 
  • Restoration of energy levels  
  • Rebalancing of blood sugar levels and metabolism 
  • Consolidation of memories 

Ultimately, deep sleep is your body’s opportunity to recover and repair, both mentally and physically. The more deep sleep you’re able to get, the more your body is able to recover.  

How Much Deep Sleep Should I Get? 

According to the Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research, a healthy human should get around 13%-23% of deep sleep every night. Based on eight hours of sleep, that amounts to between 62 and 110 minutes.  

Of course, people of different ages require different amounts of sleep. This is particularly true of children. Toddlers require 11-14 hours each night, and that number decreases slowly to around 8-10 for teenagers. Keeping the same principle as above, children require more deep sleep than adults to recover sufficiently for the next day. 

Posted by m6beds in Deep Sleep, M6 Beds, Sleep Cycle