How to get more deep sleep
Sweet dreams? We share 6 tips on how to get more deep sleep for long-term brain care.
Deep non-REM sleep cleans your brain.
Pop quiz: Remember the glymphatic system?
A new study published by Science Advances indicates that the slow and steady brain activity associated with deep non-REM are optimal for the function of the glymphatic system (the brain’s unique process of getting rid of waste, in case you needed a reminder).
The research behind deep sleep
Six groups of anaesthetised mice were studied in this research. While they were sleeping, the researchers tracked brain electrical activity, cardiovascular activity, and the flow of CSF through the brain. The mice that had a sleep pattern closely resembling deep non-REM were found to have the most active glymphatic systems.
This is why you can sleep for 9 hours but still feel groggy. It is not about how long you sleep but the quality of sleep. A big part of that is whether or not you get enough deep sleep.
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Benefits of deep sleep
This discovery (that deep sleep promotes the activity of the glymphatic system) matches up with the clinical observations that show an association between sleep deprivation and a heightened risk for Alzheimer’s.
Not only that, deep benefits your immune system and also promotes growth and repair of tissues and bones.
But how do you get more deep sleep?
Tips on how to get more deep sleep:
Here are our best tips on getting more deep sleep:
Power down. Bright lights/screen time at least an hour before bed. Removing this stimulation helps prime your body for its sleep cycle.
Be consistent. Aim for the same hitting-the-sack time, even on weekends. (Although this doesn't mean you should fit your weekday patterns to match your Friday night 2am choice.)
Be cool. The temp of your bedroom matters. According to #science (and my Oura ring), the right median temperature for a body to rest at night is right around 19.5 C.
No big meals or workouts. Too close to bedtime. Gotta keep your digestive systems and cortisol levels in check!
De-stress. Do what you gotta do: meditation, stretching, or lifestyle shifts to remove stress. This guide on meditation is a great place to start.
Vitamins. A deficiency in certain vitamins have shown that it can be harder for your body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin—find out which ones you could be lacking.
Good rest starts with good nutrition. Get better quality, longer sleep by feeding the brain and body the nutrients they need. The Smart Supplement contains all the above vitamins.
Still sleepy? Sleep scientist Sophie Bostock shares her incredible R.E.S.T method here.