According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), 50-70 million people in the U.S. have some sort of sleep disorder. Insomnia is the most common disorder, followed by obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.
Sleep deprivation can lead to heart problems, obesity, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, depression, and chronic kidney disease.
Everyone’s sleeping needs are different, but to function properly during the day, you need at least 5-6 hours of sleep. This is when the body goes through deep regeneration and rest, and the brain processes the information it absorbed the previous day.
Check out these seven useful tips on how to get more deep sleep and wake up well-rested and feeling great the next morning.
1. Remove All Electronics From the Bedroom
Want to know how to get deep sleep without interruptions? Don’t sleep in a room full of electronic devices.
Not only are they distracting, but they also emit blue light which can hinder your ability to fall asleep. Not to mention screens put an enormous strain onto your eyes and make your brain stay active to process useless information.
2. Boost Your Melatonin Production
Melatonin is the hormone your body produces at night that’s responsible for making you sleepy. One of the reasons why you’re not getting enough deep sleep can be a melatonin deficiency.
This can wreak havoc on the body and lead to a host of physical and mental issues like depression, heart problems, and reduced focus and productivity.
The body typically starts producing the most melatonin around 9-10 pm. In normal conditions, this is when you’d start to get sleepy and drowsy. However, if your melatonin levels are low or disrupted, consider taking supplements to help balance them out. You should also try sleeping in a completely dark room and remove all sources of light before bed.
3. Avoid Caffeine Before Bed
If you go to bed at a decent time but have trouble actually falling asleep, coffee may be the culprit. Look into the amount of caffeine you consume during the day and see what time you have your last coffee of the day.
Caffeine is a strong substance and the body needs several hours to completely flush it out of the system. For example, if you had your last coffee at 4-5 pm, your body may still have caffeine in it at 10-11 pm. Some people metabolize caffeine faster, and others slower.
To see if coffee affects your sleep, do an experiment and reduce your consumption or eliminate it altogether. You can have decaf coffee during the day to help you transition, but some teas and energy drinks also have caffeine, so be careful.
4. Create a Bedtime Routine
You can actually learn how to fall asleep easier and it’s not by counting sheep. Notice your habits a couple of hours before bedtime. Are you on your phone scrolling through social media? Do you drink coffee at night or leave your daily exercises for the evening?
These activities can overstimulate your body and brain, making it difficult to fall asleep. This is why you need to create a bedtime routine which should begin depending on how much deep sleep should you get to wake up rested.
The routine should include relaxation activities and winding down rituals, and you should go to bed at the same time every night, weekends included.
5. Get a New Mattress
One of the most common reasons why you can’t get quality sleep is an old, low-quality pillow and mattress.
A pillow that’s too soft and doesn’t provide sufficient support for the head and neck can lead to breathing problems and disrupted sleep. A mattress that doesn’t support the back and consists of low-density materials can lead to back problems and sleepless nights.
The best mattresses are made of high-density memory foam that’s breathable, adapts to your body weight and shape, and is firm enough to survive your tossing and turning. High-quality mattress brands like Layla Sleep don’t come cheap, but you get what you pay for.
6. Synchronize Your Sleep Cycle
Sleep occurs in several cycles, but not all of them are deep sleep. One cycle is around 90-120 minutes long and there are 4-5 in one complete sleep cycle.
You get the best quality sleep in the hours between 11 pm and 2 am, which means if you’re not in bed by 11, you’re automatically disrupting your sleep cycle. Also, 8 hours of sleep from 11 pm to 7 am are not the same quality as sleeping from 1 am to 9 am.
Want to know exactly how much deep sleep do you need per night? Use a sleep cycle calculator or alarm clock that does this for you. You shouldn’t wake up in the middle of a cycle, i.e. interrupt it, as this leads to grogginess and fatigue. Go for complete sleep cycles because this way, no matter how many hours you sleep, you’ll wake up well rested.
7. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress is the no. 1 enemy of your mental and physical health, and consequently, your sleep. If you have a stressful, fast-paced job or you’re going through a personal rough patch and not getting enough rest, your sleep will suffer.
The brain produces stress hormones that make the nervous system overly-alert, even at night. When stress reaches a peak point, you start getting less and less sleep and may even struggle with insomnia.
One of the most effective ways to reduce stress is to meditate for 10-15 minutes before bed. You can also do some light yoga, listen to soothing music, have a cup of Valerian tea or do your bedtime routine.