10 Benefits of Deep Sleep (and REM Sleep)
Every night we enter into a deep sleep that has a mysterious nature. Back in the 1930s, Loomis and colleagues discovered the sleep stages. The Circadian rhythm or biological clock controls the sleeping pattern.
The brain regulates sleeping through some processes that signal the time when people should take a rest, as well as when the time changes from light to dark. During the deep sleep, the body recovers and restores the energy for the following day. (1)
Then, during the REM stage of sleep, the mind gets repaired and processes what you have learned during the day. So, the brain forms neural connections and restores the supply of neurotransmitters. (2)
This way the good chemicals serotonin and dopamine are released. And, they improve your mood during the next day.
It is crucial for maintaining body health, repairing damaged tissues and muscles, stimulating growth, and improving the immune system.
There are four stages of sleep that must be completed during sleeping:
- NREM sleep – after we fall asleep we get into a non-rapid eye movement sleep. It consists of NREM1, NREM2, and NREM3.
- Light stage of sleep – your body wakes up easily because of noise or different disturbances.
- Deep stage of sleep – difficult to wake up, and if you wake up, you may feel dizzy or disoriented.
- The REM stage of sleep – in the rapid eye movement stage you dream, and if you wake up during this stage, you may feel weak as well as drowsy.
In order to get enough sleep, you need to go through all of the stages which last an hour and a half each.
What are the Health Benefits of Deep Sleep?
Deep sleep offers psychological benefits. In fact, deep sleep is a refreshing part of your sleeping. So, if you wake up during this stage, you may feel as you were drinking.
Here is a list of the many other health benefits of deep sleep:
1. Healthy Heart
To keep your heart healthy, you need to sleep enough because during sleep, your heart beats slower and it fixes itself.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
If you do not get enough sleep, your adrenaline and cortisol levels will be higher, so your blood pressure will be increased. While you sleep, your body rests, and the blood pressure gets lower.
3. Improved Immune System
While you are sleeping your body produces antibodies and immune cells that are crucial in beating as well as preventing illnesses.
4. Healthy Brain
Your brain repairs its cells, and the body produces hormones and neurotransmitters that cause the brain to produce new cells. So, having good sleep prevents you from experiencing mental disorders.
5. Healthy Weight
Not getting enough sleep makes you hungrier, so you eat more, and you gain more weight. Deep sleep serves to stabilize and fix the damage in the body as well as the change in hormones. Also, it regulates the hormones ghrelin (promotes hunger) and leptin (stimulates satiety).
6. Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
Deep sleep can have an impact on the prevention of memory loss. And, since Alzheimer’s disease happens because the brain lost its function in memory, good sleep can prevent it.
7. Better Digestion
During deep sleep happens the process in which the digestion tract is being repaired. So, enough sleep promotes a better digestion function. However, you should not eat before bed because it may interrupt the process of repairing.
8. Restore Energy
While you are sleeping your body produces energy from metabolism, and you will have the energy needed for the following day.
9. Relieves Stress and Depression
Since deep sleep calms the nerves and promotes a slower heartbeat, it soothes your body. But, if you do not get enough sleep, there may be chances of experiencing depression and increased stress.
10. Better Mood
After getting enough sleep, you wake up fresh and feel good. On the other hand, people with a lack of sleep are often angry and emotional. Also, their control of emotions is difficult since they feel sleepy and dizzy.
Tips for a Better Sleep
Since one sleep cycle lasts for an hour and a half, you should set your alarm at the end of the cycle. Five cycles last seven and a half hours, so if you decide to go to sleep at 10, you should set your alarm at 5:30 instead of 6-6:30.
This way you can wake up while you are in a lighter stage of sleep. Also, you should sleep in a dark, cold, and quite comfy room. Make sure to have a good bed and a good pillow.
When you are trying to fall asleep try not to think about work or anything else, relax.
You should not do activities such as working, playing video games, talking, etc. before you go to bed. And, stay away from caffeine.
After all, you should always try to keep a regular sleeping. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.