Want To Achieve More Deep Sleep? Here's What A Functional Medicine Expert Recommends
While we sleep, we cycle through a handful of different sleep stages, each with its own unique function. When it comes to deep sleep, this crucial stage is where all the restorative magic happens in the body and mind, and if you're not getting enough of it, you're going to feel it.
Here's why deep sleep is so important, plus how a functional medicine expert is getting more of it each night.
Why is deep sleep important?
Deep sleep (also sometimes called slow-wave sleep) is the third stage of sleep, following two stages of light sleep. About 20% to 25% of our time asleep is spent in this stage, during which muscle and tissue growth are promoted, as well as cellular repair.
This is also the stage when delta brain waves—the slow brain waves that signal relaxation—start to occur. As naturopathic sleep doctor Catherine Darley, N.D., previously told mindbodygreen, "Deep sleep is really important for growth hormone," adding it's when roughly 75% (and up to 85%) of our total growth hormone in a day is secreted.
Deep sleep is also thought to help the brain flush out waste, according to Hannu Kinnunen, chief science officer at Oura. "There's evidence that the 'flushing' that occurs during this stage is necessary for 'cleaning the brain1' and making way for building new connections moving forward," he previously told mindbodygreen.
The secret to this M.D.'s good night's sleep.
So, how can you ensure you're getting more deep sleep every night? According to integrative and functional medicine expert Heather Moday, M.D., you'll want to reach for mindbodygreen's pioneering sleep formula sleep support+.*
As Moday wrote for mindbodygreen, "Since I started taking sleep support+ a few months ago, my deep sleep—which is the most important part of our sleep cycle—has increased in duration, I fall asleep faster, and I have been waking up feeling so much more refreshed."*
She adds that problems with sleep are some of the most widespread issues she sees in her practice, but sleep support+ "helps combat poor sleep due to the unique combination of magnesium bisglycinate, jujube, and PharmaGABA®, which induce relaxation and calm and help maximize sleep quality."*
And what's more, with the unique combo of magnesium, jujube, and PharmaGABA®, you've got a sleep supplement with ingredients that are research-backed to support a healthy circadian rhythm, and promote a steady state of relaxation—without any habit-forming or groggy side effects.*
The different stages of sleep are not created equal, each performing a specific function to achieve a truly restful night's sleep. Deep sleep is easily the most important stage, and with proper sleep hygiene and a quality sleep supplement, we can all get more of it.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.