How to Increase Deep Sleep
We all know that sleep is crucial for human health and well-being as well as optimal day-to-day performance, yet so many of us struggle with either getting enough sleep and/or getting quality sleep. In fact, more than 50 million Americans experience over 80 different sleep disorders while another 20 to 30 million experience intermittent sleep problems each year. That’s a lot of tired humans! Thankfully for us sleepyheads, there are various evidence-based practices that can help those of us experiencing sleep troubles go out like a light. This blog will dive into these practices and explain how to increase deep sleep, how to increase REM sleep, how to improve sleep time, and how to improve sleeping habits.
Tips to Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep quality is the measurement of how well you are sleeping and whether your sleep is restful and restorative. There are various factors that determine sleep quality, but some of the more important ones include the amount of REM sleep you get as well as the amount of time you spend sleeping.
How to Increase REM Sleep & How to Improve Sleep Time
REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep, is a phase of sleep characterized by rapid movements of the eyes, low muscle tone throughout the body, and the tendency to dream. All sleep is important, but REM sleep in particular plays a crucial role in dreaming, memory, emotional processing, and healthy brain development. Improving the quality of your sleep and, in turn, increasing your REM sleep starts by making changes in your day-to-day life.
Some effective daily practices include:
- Deciding on a set sleep schedule—go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Making exercise a priority—research shows that frequent physical activity for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day can improve sleep efficiency and duration.
- Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and nicotine—all three are stimulants and can interfere with REM sleep.
- Creating an ideal sleep environment—make sure your sleeping situation is comfortable (i.e. comfortable pillows and bed, no light or loud sound, comfortable temperature).
- Refraining from napping during the day—a short nap (30 minutes or less) is generally okay, but avoid napping for any longer and don’t nap any later than 3 p.m.
Once you feel like you’ve mastered increasing your REM sleep (aka prime dream state), you may be interested in improving your dream quality and dream recall. Sweet Slumber Tincture is a perfect option for those wanting to enhance dreams and get much deeper sleep. While the above practices are great tools to implement in your day-to-day life, there are also many amazing bedtime rituals you can practice to increase deep sleep.
Some powerful nightly practices include:
- Reading a book or journaling—research shows that those who read or journal before bed experience better sleep quality and sleep duration compared to non-readers or non-journalers.
- Practicing meditation—meditation can be utilized as a relaxation technique and can quiet the mind and body while enhancing inner peace. When done before bedtime, meditation may help to reduce insomnia and sleep troubles by promoting tranquility.
- Taking a natural sleep remedy, such as Soulside‘s Serious Sleep Remedy—this natural and organic sleep remedy is specially formulated with a combination of sleep-inducing herbs. These powerful herbs in combination with the spagyric extraction process results in a very potent and effective sleep remedy.
- Turning off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime—many electronic devices emit short-wavelength enriched light, also known as blue light. Research shows that blue light can reduce the amount of time you spend in slow-wave and REM sleep.
How to Improve Sleeping Habits
Just like with every habit you wish to make or break, consistency is key. While it is unclear how long it actually takes the average person to develop or ditch a habit, a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology determined that it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. In short, some habits are harder or easier to form than others. But, nonetheless, there are various things you can do to improve your sleeping habits including:
- Starting with small adjustments—if you usually have four cups of coffee each day, start by cutting down to three; if you don’t exercise on a daily basis, start with 20 minutes a day; if you don’t meditate frequently, start with a five minute meditation before bed.
- Creating a plan and focusing on building a routine—decide on what practices you want to adopt and make sure you have everything to execute your bedtime plan. Do you have a good book to read or journal to write in? Do you have your handy-dandy Sleep Remedy sitting on your bedside table?
- Focusing on one good habit at a time—it’s easy to get over-motivated and take on too much. Start by choosing and mastering a couple of these practices before taking on more.
- Staying positive and self-compassionate—forming a habit can be challenging and maintaining it can be daunting. Remind yourself often that forming good habits and breaking bad ones is a journey, and failure is a natural part of the journey.
Click here to read a more in-depth article about how to build good habits in your life and how to ditch bad ones.
We all know how it feels to toss and turn all night and the inevitable repercussions of not getting quality sleep. And it can especially take a toll on quality of life when you experience consistent sleep troubles. But not all hope is lost. With the implementation of these daily and nightly practices, your relationship with your pillow and bed will change remarkably. Rest easy, friends.
Eatough, Erin. “Building good habits in your life (and ditching bad ones).” Building Good Habits in Your Life (and Ditching Bad Ones), BetterUp, 7 Dec. 2021, https://www.betterup.com/blog/building-habits.
“The state of sleep health in America.” SleepHealth, American Sleep Apnea Association, 15 Apr. 2022, https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/.