Published on 11 November 2021

What Is Deep Sleep?: Things You Should Know

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Have you ever felt that you just slept and woke up all blank? Without any dreams and dozed off, that is what we call deep sleep. So, what are you? Snorlax from Pokémon?, No, but still, it happens to most people. 

People get this kind of deep sleep because of their activities or tiredness throughout the body. Every person in the world faces too much stress, so they do need deep sleep.

In this stressful modern world, is it possible to get a deep and quality sleep? Let us know more about deep sleep and its other parameters.

What Is Deep Sleep?

There are two main sleep stages: (non-REM) non-rapid eye movement and (REM) rapid eye movement.

Deep sleep is the 3rd stage of (non-REM) non-rapid eye movement sleep. Deep sleep is also called slow-wave sleep. This stage of sleep is where your brain waves slow. Your breathing and heartbeat also slow down.  

Let's Know About Nap

Waking up all muzzy and being unable to think accurately happens when you are in a deep sleep. So, what exactly is it? Deep sleep is also called slow-wave-sleep, wherein one's body automatically slows down, contrasting with REM (rapid eye moment) sleep. Thus, to know more about this, let's understand these terminologies precisely.

Frequently asked questions

Sleeping at the same time every day and waking up at the same time. Even on the weekend is known to be a healthy sleeping pattern.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, The average sleeping duration of an adult aged 16 to 65 should be atleast 7 hours every night.
Deep sleep offers specific physical and mental benefits. During deep sleep, your body releases growth hormones to build and repair muscles, bones, tissue, and immune system functioning.

Types Of Sleep

There are a lot of things that happen when we are in a sound sleep or dreaming about anything. Thus, let's know what exactly happens during the process. But before that, let's get familiar with REM and NREM.

REM (Rapid Eye Movement)

Rapid eye movement sleep is a zizz wherein one's eyes scurry in various directions but do not convey any information to the brain. This sleep usually occurs after about 90mins of sleeping, which leads to dreams. According to the study, about 50% of babies and 20% of adults indulge in REM. This sleep is more like a polar drowse than that of NREM. Thus, let us know about NREM.

NREM (Nonrapid Eye Movement)

Nonrapid eye movement sleep wherein one dozes off blank without any eye movement. This usually occurs in three stages, and the last two stages are considered NREM, where it gets toilsome to wake up. This slumber does not lead to vivid dreams as the body slows down. Now that we know REM and NREM let's look at deep sleep. 

What Happens During Deep Sleep?

Your body goes through all important processes for the optimal functioning of your brain. When you are in a deep sleep, you’ll find that you can't wake up easily; even when you are, you’ll feel disoriented and dizzy. 

Some research shows that for several minutes or even hours after you’ve woken up from the deeper stages of sleep, your mental performance will be impaired, and you’ll have a strong desire to go back to sleep. This phenomenon is known as sleep inertia.

During deep sleep, your declarative memory improves, the memories of facts and events from your day-to-day life. Growth hormones help to repair muscles, organs, and tissue. If you suffer from an injury, your body recovers faster during deep sleep.

Sleeping disorders such as night terrors, bedwetting, sleepwalking, and sleep eating are likely to occur during deep sleep. 

Stages Of Sleep

Most people go through various stages of sleep. It depends on different individuals. There are about four stages of sleep wherein one goes through the cycle of REM and NREM, which starts through

Stage 1. Sleeping But Still Awake. (NREM SLEEP)

This stage lingers between sleeping and being awake; people are usually well aware of what is happening in their surroundings, wherein you shut your eyes but are still sharp and about to fall into a deep sleep. During this phase, your body reacts as follows-

  • Your body starts to slow down, which leads to slower movements.
  • Heart rate slows down along with eye movements and breathing.
  • The body and muscles relax, but one may experience sudden jerks or even the body falling, which is common in this stage.
  • This lasts for about 10-15 mins.

Thus, now that you are half asleep let's see what happens when we fall asleep.

Stage 2 The Process Of Deep Sleep. (NREM SLEEP)

This is the process where you are about to go into a deep sleep or more like the preparation period where your body goes through specific changes, namely:

  • This is the stage where one's muscle tone relaxes.
  • The temperature of the body drops, and the heart rate, as well as breathing, becomes normal.
  • Eye movements stop, and the brain slows down; however, one may also experience sleep spindles where the brain bursts with rapid activity.
  • This sleep usually lasts for about 90 mins to 120 mins.

Hence, this happens in stage two; now that we are about to go into a deep sleep, let's know what happens in stage three before we go zzz.

STAGE 3: Deep Sleep. (NREM SLEEP)

This is the phase where one doesn't know what is going on and is into blank sleep and thus is also called delta sleep, wherein slow brain waves occur. During this process, the body tends to go through the following procedure:

  • Muscles relax completely
  • No eye movements
  • The brain sends slow delta waves, wherein the brain slows down.
  • The mind goes pitch black which might not lead to any vivid dreams.

Thus, this is what happens when in a deep sleep. It usually gets challenging to wake up from this sleep; however, NREM thus shifts to the fourth stage, REM. 

STAGE 4: Awakeness. (REM SLEEP)

This is the stage wherein your brain kick-starts its activity and might thus lead to light sleep. As previously mentioned, this stage usually occurs for about 90 mins. Therefore, let's see what goes on in this sleep:

  • Breathing becomes faster and is irregular
  • Muscles are still relaxed and in a state of coma or no movement
  • Eyes lead to rapid eye movement
  • Vivid dreams may appear
  • Brains start up the activity.

Thus, this goes around when you reach the fourth stage and lead to the awareness phase. 

During The Stages Of Sleep.

Deep sleep is vital as it refreshes our bodies and gives us strength and energy to perform activities. But how does this happen? When our bodies are in stages, there are a lot of activities that our body goes through. Such as

  • Rebuilding and regeneration of new cells: This is the process where new cells are formed and damaged cells are repaired, which increases the efficiency of the body's functioning.
  • Secretion of hormones for bone and muscle growth- Hormones are secreted that lead to the development and aid the tissues that regenerate the cells that maintain the blood flow and do not let our body catch any illness.
  • Boosting the immunity system that combats any illness: Enough 7-9 hours of sleep leads to a better immunity system as the process mentioned above takes place that leads the body to grow and develop and, thus, fights all the ill ailments in the body and shields our body that leads to a healthy body.
  • Replenishes and improves the memory game: As sleep gives the brain time to rest and recover, it boosts the memory power and improves the thinking capacity, thus keeping us focused.

Thus, these are a few reasons why sleep is essential. Now that we are well-versed about what happens when you take a rest.

Why Is Deep Sleep Important?

Whenever a person suffers from a stressful event or tiredness, the only wish they think of is getting deep sleep. It has various benefits for a person and indeed has a positive effect on a person’s mind. 

Deep sleep is essential and is an aspect that keeps us refreshed when we wake up and re-energizes our body, which gives us the strength to do activities and mental stability. Thus, let's know more about it in depth.

Tips To Get A Good Deep Sleep

To get a good deep sleep. You ensure that your body gets enough time to sleep. The (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults sleep more than 7 hours daily for optimal well-being.

In addition to this. Here are some tips to get a good deep sleep;

  • Exercise: According to the study, regular exercise can improve deep sleep quality.  
  • Spend some time in the sauna: Some research shows that heat helps to get a good deep sleep. Sitting in a steam room or a hot bath can lead to better deep sleep.
  • Have a healthy diet: There are many benefits to having a healthy diet. Getting good quality sleep is one of them. Study shows that eating less fiber and more sugars and fats can cause a destructive sleeping pattern. Instead, eat a high protein and low sugar food that helps you get a good deep sleep.
  • No coffee before bed: Try to avoid coffee 7 hours before you go to bed. The caffeine in the coffee may prevent you from having a good night's sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol: You may feel it helps you to fall asleep quickly. But in reality, it reduces your sleeping quality.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solution.

As it is very well quoted by Thomas Dekker, an American actor, says, "Sleep is like the golden chain that binds our health and body together" Thus, as sleep is also called beauty sleep, it stands by its name as it, therefore, makes our bodies healthy and beautiful.

Getting a good quality deep sleep is quite tricky in this modern world. But your body needs good quality sleep to stay healthy and depression free. We mentioned some tips and advantages of deep sleep that might be helpful for you to have a good deep sleep.