You may be getting plenty of sleep, but are you getting the right sleep? Deep sleep is a vital state that’s essential to your physical and mental health. Learn how to get more deep sleep to be sure you’re enjoying the rest you need.
Make a Plan for How to Get More Deep Sleep
Do you feel like it’s hard to get enough rest sometimes? If you do, you aren’t alone. Sleep issues are unfortunately common for seniors, and their physical and mental health can suffer as a result. If you’re not feeling awake and refreshed when you get out of bed in the morning, a lack of deep sleep may be the cause. Understanding the sleep cycle and the importance of sleep hygiene can help you learn how to get more deep sleep.
What Is the Sleep Cycle?
You may not think much about what happens to your brain and body while asleep. However, if you’re having trouble getting the rest you need, it can be helpful for you to know that not all sleep is alike. Your body goes through different stages of sleep throughout the night, otherwise known as the sleep cycle:
- Stage one is the transition between wakefulness and light sleep. It does not involve rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, and people can be easily awakened.
- Stage two is a phase of REM sleep. In REM sleep, a person’s eyes move rapidly, and the brain is highly active, which can result in dreams. Most sleepers spend about half of their night in stage two sleep.
- Stage three is a phase of deep sleep. It is a state of total rest, and REM does not take place. It is very difficult to wake someone from stage 3 sleep, and they may be groggy or confused upon waking.
Your body will cycle through these three stages of sleep throughout the night, typically between four and six times. REM sleep is important, but stage three sleep is essential to getting the rest you need.
How to Get the Deep Sleep You Need
Unfortunately, seniors often get less deep sleep than other populations. Why is that, and how can you fix it? Because deep sleep occurs during regular sleep cycles, the best way to get it is by sleeping the recommended number of hours and improving your sleep hygiene as much as possible:
- Talk to your doctor about your sleep issues. They may be able to make adjustments to medications or offer other therapeutic interventions. They also may be able to help you identify and treat potential sleep disorders.
- Have a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Consistency will help your body develop a good sleep routine.
- Daily outdoor exercise can help your body synchronize itself to a daily schedule. It can also help you get the necessary activity to sleep deeply and well at night.
- Make your bedroom deep-sleep-friendly by eliminating things that can disturb you during your sleep cycle. A quiet, dark, and comfortable room can let you get the rest you need without unexpected interruptions. If you need more help blocking out annoyances, try a white noise machine or blackout curtains.
- Caffeine and alcohol are two substances that make it harder for your body to attain restful sleep. If you’re having trouble getting the rest you need, reducing or even eliminating them entirely can help.
Maximizing the time you spend in deep sleep is essential to getting the rest you need. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be well-rested before you know it!
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