Home / Blog October 28, 2022 Updated on October 26, 2023

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11 Helpful Tips on How to Get More Deep Sleep

After a tiring day, sometimes all you want is to stock up on some quality sleep for a fresher start in the morning. But not every hour of sleep is created equal. When we wake up frequently at night, we disrupt our sleep cycle, ultimately leading to less restorative deep sleep. Read on to learn more about how to get more deep sleep naturally.

11 Helpful Tips on How to Get More Deep Sleep


During deep sleep, your body completes important functions like restoring tissues and revitalizing your immune system

We tend to get less deep sleep as we get older, but our bodies still need the same amount

Weighted blankets can help people get more deep sleep through Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), which increases melatonin (the sleep hormone) and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone)


Did you know?
Drinking caffeine frequently can lead to caffeine withdrawal, which leaves you feeling fatigued and irritable

We’ve all found ourselves waking up in the morning feeling less-than-refreshed. And it’s not always because we weren’t in bed for enough hours. When we toss and turn at night, we disrupt our sleep cycles, preventing our bodies from getting the rest they need.

The good news is, once we begin to understand what causes a lack of deep sleep, we can take steps to reclaim restorative rest. Drastic measures often aren’t necessary: a few simple lifestyle changes can be enough to sleep deeply again.

1. Understand Your Sleep Cycles

If you’re wondering how to get more deep sleep or how to get more REM sleep, it’s a good idea to learn what causes a lack of deep sleep in the first place

Deep Sleep vs. REM

So what’s the difference between deep sleep and REM sleep?

REM stands for rapid eye movement. This phase of sleep doesn’t happen until about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. Once you reach REM sleep, your brain gets more active, and you might have more intense or vivid dreams.

Scientifically speaking, deep sleep is actually considered one part of non-REM, or NREM, sleep. NREM sleep is divided into three stages. When you first fall asleep, you enter stage 1 of NREM sleep, where your eyes are closed but you can easily be woken up. After about ten minutes, you’ll move into stage 2: light sleep. Finally, before shifting into REM sleep, you reach deep sleep, or stage 3 of the NREM sleep cycle.

During deep sleep you’ll have a hard time waking up. Your body is hard at work completing essential tasks like repairing tissues and refreshing your immune system.

So when you wake up feeling groggy, chances are you aren’t getting enough deep sleep for your body to do its job. That can be caused by a lack of overall sleeping hours or by fragmented sleep.

Luckily, if you’re feeling drowsy and less alert, there are some steps you can take to reclaim your deep sleep.

model wrapping up with bearaby blanket

2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

It’s the elephant in the room when it comes to lack of sleep, but the evidence is clear: caffeine is bad news when it comes to good rest.

Consuming caffeine even six hours before bedtime is likely to keep you awake once your head hits the pillow.

What’s more, becoming dependent on caffeine can eventually cause caffeine withdrawal, which can make you feel fatigued even after a long night’s sleep.

You don’t need to cut caffeine out of your life entirely in order to improve the situation. You can try gradually swapping your morning drink to decaf coffee or green tea and save lattes and soft drinks for special occasions

By reducing your caffeine intake, you can increase the number of hours you sleep at night, ultimately leading you to more of that precious NREM deep sleep.

3. Solidify Your Bedtime Routine

Everybody’s bedtime routine looks different. Maybe you listen to a podcast while tidying up your room, or maybe you prefer to unwind by reading a few chapters of a good book in bed. Whatever the case, a consistent bedtime routine can be helpful for winding down and getting your brain and body ready for rest.

How Much Deep Sleep Do You Need By Age?

You might think that bedtime routines are intended for children. And it’s true that a consistent bedtime routine can help kids sleep better!

But sleep hygiene becomes more important as we get older. Kids need more sleep than adults. But once we hit adulthood, our sleep needs stay the same, while our ability to sleep tends to deteriorate. It becomes harder to get deep sleep as we age

A bedtime routine creates a predictable way of preparing your body for deep sleep. And by creating a bedtime routine that you actually like, you might be more excited to go to bed and more likely to turn in earlier.

4. Avoid Exercising Before You Sleep

Moving your body more during the day is one way to encourage better sleep. But since cardio causes a rush of endorphins, it’s best to avoid it right before bedtime. You may find yourself tossing

If you typically exercise right before bed, you can swap your usual workout for something more relaxing like a nighttime stretching routine. Stretching is a great ritual for calming your mind, and it has long-term benefits, too: better flexibility can improve your performance in all sorts of other workouts.

5. Drink Less Alcohol

It’s a bit counterintuitive: when you drink alcohol, it seems to make you sleepy, and can even help you fall asleep. But if you’re wondering what causes a lack of deep sleep, alcohol is one of the prime suspects.

During the first half of an alcohol-induced slumber, you’ll probably sleep soundly without interruptions. You won’t be dreaming much, either, because alcohol suppresses REM sleep. But once that alcohol leaves your bloodstream, it’s a different story. During the second half of the night you’ll likely be waking up more often as your brain becomes more active.

So by cutting back the amount you drink before bed, you can also cut down on the number of mornings you wake up wondering how to get deeper sleep.

6. Limit Your Screen Time

Most of us spend a lot of time looking at screens everyday. But this can make it even harder to get deep sleep. Electronic devices emit blue light, and this can be bad news for our circadian rhythms.

Does Melatonin Increase Deep Sleep?

Your circadian rhythm is the cycle that tells your body when to sleep and when to wake up. By influencing the hormones that you produce, your circadian rhythms help determine how much deep sleep you get

It’s all dependent on light: when light levels decrease, our bodies get the go ahead to create more melatonin. This helps us fall – and stay – asleep.

Your body is programmed to wake when the sun rises and sleep when the sun sets. But blue light can throw that out of balance.

If, like many people, you use your phone right up until you fall asleep, your body’s getting mixed signals. You may be doing everything you can to fall asleep, but based on the light, your eyes think it’s time to wake up.

By putting your phone away a couple hours before bed, you’ll give your body the time to start winding down and producing melatonin for deep sleep.

women taking a nap with bearaby blanket

7. Block Out the Light

Blue light from electronics isn’t the only light source that can mess with our circadian rhythms. If you’re wondering how to get more deep sleep naturally, adjusting your evening lighting can be a big help.

Try to reduce the amount of light in your space after sunset. Once it’s time for bed, keeping your space as dark as possible should help you on your way to a good night’s sleep. You can even install blackout curtains on your windows to prevent any unexpected bright light from waking you up.

8. Regulate Your Room Temperature

Everybody has different sleep preferences when it comes to temperature. Some people are hot sleepers, while others get cold easily and like to snuggle up with lots of layers. However you choose your bedding, the science suggests that in general, people tend to sleep better in a cold room.

By turning down the thermostat or turning on a fan, you can create a cool, calming environment to cuddle up to sleep. Just don’t make it too cold — you don’t want your teeth to be chattering!

9. Eat More Fiber

Sleep scientists are still learning more about how your diet influences your sleep. However, the evidence suggests that eating more fiber could be one way to get more deep sleep. One study showed that diets with less fiber, more saturated fats, and more sugar resulted in lower quality sleep for participants.

Individual dietary preferences can vary, but some great sources of fiber include chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and berries

Before you rush to pack fiber into your diet, though, remember that there’s no fastrack that will speed up how to get more deep sleep! And if you increase the amount of fiber you’re eating too quickly, you might be setting yourself up for an upset stomach. Like many dietary modifications, it’s a good idea to take it slow and drink plenty of water along the way.

10. Change Your Bedding

The space you sleep in can have a big impact on your quality of sleep. And while bedding may not influence your circadian rhythms as much as blue light, it can be a big part of how to get more deep sleep.

So what kind of bedding should you use to get deeper sleep? It all depends on your personal preference! Even a swap as simple as cleaning your sheets more often can help you feel more relaxed when you get into bed.

Pillows can also have a big influence on sleep quality. If you’re finding that your regular pillow doesn’t give you the support you need, or you wake up with aches and pains from side sleeping, you might want to change the firmness of your pillow or even try a body pillow for added comfort.

11. Use a Weighted Blanket

There are two main problems that prevent deep sleep: difficulty falling asleep, and difficulty staying asleep. Weighted blankets are one way to address both problems at once. Through Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), weighted blankets increase melatonin and decrease cortisol (the stress hormone). And studies have shown that weighted blankets can cause a calmer night’s sleep

If you’re new to the world of weighted blankets, we recommend choosing a blanket that weighs around 10% of your body weight. There are plenty of styles, colors, and materials out there to choose from, so you can pick one that matches your bedroom just right. Our Cotton Napper might be a good option if you’re looking for a sustainable, breathable weighted blanket.

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Deep sleep is an important part of how our bodies rest and reset after a long day. But as we get older, it can get harder to find deep sleep. Since deep sleep happens during a specific phase of your sleep cycle, frequent nighttime wakeups can make it hard for you to get the rest you need.

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to improve your sleep quality. By understanding your sleep cycles, re-examining your bedtime routine, and adopting new habits like using a weighted blanket, you just might be on your way to a night of deep, restorative rest.


What If I’m Still Not Getting Enough Deep Sleep?

If you're not getting enough deep sleep after trying the tips we mentioned above, consider implementing the following handy suggestions:

  1. Consult a healthcare professional for potential sleep disorders.
  2. Practice stress reduction techniques like meditation.
  3. Limit daytime naps to short durations.
  4. Optimize your sleep environment for darkness, quiet, and comfort.
  5. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
  6. Avoid heavy meals and excess fluids before bedtime.
  7. Explore professional sleep therapy or specialist assistance if problems persist.


Why Am I Not Getting Deep Sleep?

There are various reasons why you may not be getting deep sleep even after you have tried the tips provided in this blog. Here are some additional potential factors that may be stopping you from sleeping more soundly:

1. Medical Conditions: Underlying medical conditions, such as sleep disorders (e.g., sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome) or chronic pain, can disrupt deep sleep.

2. Medications: Certain medications, including some antidepressants, stimulants, and beta-blockers, can interfere with sleep architecture and reduce deep sleep.

3. Stress and Anxiety: Persistent stress and anxiety can lead to frequent awakenings during the night and inhibit the ability to enter deep sleep

4. Age-Related Changes: As you age, your body’s ability to achieve deep sleep naturally declines. This is a common reason for reduced deep sleep in older individuals.

5. Diet and Nutrition: Poor dietary choices, particularly high-sugar or high-fat diets, can negatively affect sleep quality.

6. Emotional Factors: Emotional disturbances, such as depression or grief, can disturb sleep patterns.

7. Shift Work and Irregular Schedules: Irregular work hours or frequent shifts can disrupt your body's internal clock, making it challenging to achieve deep sleep. This is especially true for night shift workers who catch up on sleep during the day.

8. Unresolved Concerns: Unresolved issues, whether personal or professional, can cause mental rumination that affects sleep. Addressing and resolving these concerns can alleviate sleep disruptions.

What Does The Stages Of Sleep Chart Involve?

The stages of sleep are typically divided into 6 stages that repeat in cycles. Each cycle usually lasts for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The stages in the cycle include:

1. Wakefulness: When you’re awake and alert, your brain shows high activity because you are fully conscious.

2. Stage 1: This is the transition from wakefulness to sleep. It’s a light sleep stage with slow eye movements and reduced muscle activity.

3. Stage 2: This is a deeper stage of sleep characterized by short bursts of rapid brain activity.

4. Stage 3: This is the beginning of deep sleep. It's also known as slow-wave sleep (SWS) and is marked by delta waves on Electroencephalogram (EEG) readings. This is the stage where you experience the most restorative, deep sleep.

5. Stage 4: This is a continuation of deep sleep with predominantly delta waves.

6. REM (Rapid Eye Movement): A stage of sleep where you experience vivid dreams, and your brain activity becomes similar to wakefulness. REM sleep is typically associated with rapid eye movements and muscle atonia (temporary paralysis of voluntary muscles).

These stages continue throughout the night, and a full night's sleep may consist of several of these cycles. For instance, people who sleep for roughly 8 hours may experience 5 of these cycles of REM and non-REM sleep.

The stages of sleep chart helps sleep researchers and healthcare professionals assess the quality of a person's sleep and identify any abnormalities or sleep disorders. It can be used to diagnose conditions like sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy.

How Do I Increase Slow Wave Sleep (SWS)?

If you’re looking for tips on how to increase slow wave sleep, then you are in the right place. You may consider these snooze-enhancing strategies:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule
  2. Craft a cozy sleep space that is cool, quiet, and dark
  3. Give screens the boot at least an hour before bedtime
  4. Consider limiting your caffeine and booze intake
  5. Engage in regular physical activity
  6. Keep stress in check with relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing
  7. Steer clear of late-night snacking
  8. Consult a sleep specialist if none of the tips above help 

What Is Low Deep Sleep?

Low deep sleep, or a lack of deep sleep, refers to not spending enough time in the restorative phase of slumber known as slow-wave sleep (SWS). Deep sleep is crucial for physical and mental rejuvenation, with the body repairing tissues, consolidating memories, and boosting the immune system during this stage.

When you experience low deep sleep, you may wake up feeling groggy, tired, and less refreshed, and you might even find it difficult to concentrate during the day. To improve the quantity and quality of your deep sleep, consider implementing some of the sleep-enhancing tips we’ve discussed in this blog, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleep environment

What Affects Deep Sleep?

There are several sneaky culprits that may be behind someone’s inability to get regular deep sleep. We list them below:

  1. Aging
  2. Irregular sleep patterns
  3. Stress and anxiety
  4. Medications and substances
  5. Unhealthy diets and poor nutrition
  6. Environmental factors like light, noise, and temperature
  7. Lack of regular exercise
  8. Emotional issues like stress, depression, or unresolved problems
  9. Medical conditions, such as chronic pain
  10. Caffeine and other stimulants like nicotine
  11. Alcohol consumption
  12. Shift work and irregular schedules 

Why Can't I Get Deep Sleep?

You might be struggling to get deep sleep for a bunch of reasons. First off, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it's like your brain's on high alert, making deep sleep elusive. Lifestyle habits like an irregular sleep schedule or too much caffeine can also interfere with those precious ZZZs. Age plays a role too, as we tend to have less deep sleep as we get older.

Also if you've got medical conditions or medications that disrupt your sleep, that's another factor. And don't forget the environment – a noisy, bright room or an uncomfortable mattress can also be culprits. The good news is, by tweaking your habits and surroundings, you can improve your chances of scoring some quality deep sleep. So, take a closer look at what might be getting in the way, and work on those ZzZ-boosting changes.

Are There Tips On How To Be A Deeper Sleeper?

To become a deeper sleeper, it’s all about creating a cozy sleep routine that your body loves. Start with a regular sleep schedule, this means that you should aim for the same bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. Your body’s like a clock, and it loves routine. Make your sleep environment a sanctuary by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

You may also try relaxation techniques before bed, like reading or taking a warm bath, to help your mind unwind. Be mindful of what you eat and drink close to bedtime, and limit caffeine and heavy meals. And yes, put away those screens at least an hour before hitting the sack – the blue light from phones and TVs can mess with your sleep cycle. With some patience and these little changes, you'll be well on your way to enjoying those deep, restful ZzZs.

How Do I Put Someone In Deep Sleep?

First, it is important to ensure that they stick to a regular sleep schedule. This means that they need to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time. As they prepare to go to bed, it is advisable that they steer clear of alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals within 2 hours of bedtime. The same goes for intense exercises and using electronic devices like phones.

Another important factor is to ensure that they keep daytime naps short or when possible, skip them altogether. And if their sleep troubles continue, it is helpful to see a sleep specialist to assess any underlying issues.

What Happens If You Don't Get Enough Deep Sleep?

Skipping out on enough deep sleep can lead to a variety of issues. When you don't get enough deep sleep, your body doesn't have the chance to fully repair and restore itself. This can result in feeling tired, irritable, and unfocused during the day.

Your immune system may weaken, making you more susceptible to illness. Long-term, it could impact your mood, memory, and overall health, potentially increasing the risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes. So, deep sleep isn't just for a peaceful night; it's essential for your overall well-being.