You’ve probably heard that most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to function properly. However, the quality of sleep you get is just as important. During the night, our bodies go through different stages of sleep, the most restorative being deep sleep. Unfortunately, patients who suffer from sleep conditions such as sleep apnea often don’t get enough deep sleep, posing serious threats to their health if left untreated.
So, what exactly is deep sleep? And, what can be done to ensure you’re getting enough? In this article, we’ll look at what deep sleep is, how sleep apnea affects deep sleep and solutions for deep sleep issues.
What Is Deep Sleep?
Sleep is divided into two stages: REM and non-REM sleep. We begin the night in non-REM sleep, followed by a short period of REM sleep. This cycle continues throughout the night, restarting about every 90 minutes. Deep sleep is the final stage of non-REM sleep and the hardest stage from which to wake. During deep sleep, your body and brain waves slow down while processing the information you encountered the previous day. Without enough deep sleep, the brain cannot convert new information into memories. Therefore, it is also essential for restoring the body and brain.
The most significant benefits of deep sleep include:
- Consolidation of new memories
- Strengthening the immune system
- Increasing blood supply to muscles
- Energy restoration
- Cell regeneration
- Promoting growth and repair of bones and tissues
- Appropriate secretion of growth hormones
- Enhanced mental performance
How Does Deep Sleep Affect Sleep Apnea?
Deep sleep is highly beneficial, but unfortunately, sleep apnea can prevent you from getting enough. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep. This results in up to hundreds of mini “wake-ups” throughout the night and significant fragmentation of deep sleep. Eventually, the constant disruptions lead to chronic sleep deprivation, which may cause impaired memory, mood swings, anxiety, depression, hypertension, and even heart problems.
Tips to Combat Deep Sleep Issues
If you have sleep apnea, the best way to combat issues is to visit a sleep specialist to treat your sleep disorder. Over time, your sleep cycle will become normal again, and you’ll start getting more deep sleep. In the meantime, there are a few other things you can try to feel more refreshed in the morning.
Exercise and daytime physical activity may be beneficial, while a warm bath or shower about 90 minutes before bed can get you feeling relaxed and ready to sleep. Likewise, a cooler bedroom temperature can also improve sleep and help you reach deeper sleep. In contrast, light, loud noises, and warmer temperatures may have the opposite effect.
How We Can Help
If you have sleep apnea, it’s important to remember that untreated sleep disorders can not only reduce your ability to get your best sleep but also severely impact your physical and emotional health. At Advanced Homecare, we offer a wide range of sleep apnea supplies to help you get a better night’s rest. Contact us today to learn more.