Deep sleep is an important part of nightly sleep that helps sleepers feel refreshed. And when we track our sleep with either a wearable or non-wearable sleep tracker, we are able to see our nightly sleep cycles, including our amount of deep sleep. But do we really know what that information means, why it's important, and how to improve it if it is too low?
While all stages of sleep are vital for good health, deep sleep is especially beneficial. Deep sleep offers many benefits, including restoring and developing muscle and bone tissue, strengthening the immune system, and a whole host of other mental and physical gains.
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Understanding Deep Sleep
Today, sleeping deeply isn't getting any easier. The arrival of technology—in the form of tablets and smartphones, specifically—has only presented new challenges for recharging our bodies overnight. Deep sleep strengthens the immune system, repairs muscles & helps you feel refreshed in the morning. Learn more about deep sleep and why it's important by reading our previous blog, Understanding Deep Sleep.
If you want to improve your deep sleep, you’re in luck. There are various ways one can improve the length of deep sleep they get during their sleep cycle. This can be done by eliminating or reducing certain factors that delay deep sleep.
Some people can make simple lifestyle changes on their own to improve their deep sleep, and others may need to make more drastic changes to their routines and habits to increase and improve their deep sleep.
Deep Sleep Statistic: The amount of deep sleep you need varies by age . As a person age, they spend less time in the deep sleep stage. Other factors that influence the amount of deep sleep we get can be attributed to gender and race .
Below, we’ll discuss ways to increase deep sleep naturally and how to improve it with the following helpful tips.
1. Sleeping Cooler at Night
Using a Sleep System to cool the bed’s temperature can help a person achieve deeper sleep. This doesn’t mean that they have to go to sleep in a freezing cold bed to get the benefits of cool sleep. We recommend starting the night off in a warm, cozy bed, then scheduling a drop in the temperature once you are already asleep.
The most important thing you can do when using a Chilipad Dock Pro is to schedule a drop in temperature soon after your desired time that you are sleeping. A significant change in your body temperature—even if it’s only .1 degrees—goes a long way toward making sure you sleep deeper for longer.
Did You Know: Breathable bedding and pajamas made from cotton, Tencel®, or bamboo can help you sleep cooler at night. Sleepme offers a host of soft goods that are made from cooling fabrics for the bed.
2. Create a Healthy Sleep Environment
Individuals who are in pain or discomfort may struggle to achieve deep sleep. To ensure they get the most restful and deep sleep possible, they should explore making their sleeping environment dark, quiet, and comfortable.
For those who live in noisy or brightly lit areas, ear plugs, sleep masks, noise machines and black-out curtains can be helpful.
3. Limit the Amount of Caffeine
This may be difficult for some but try to avoid coffee seven hours before bedtime. As a stimulant, caffeine makes it more challenging for some to fall asleep. It can also reduce the amount of deep sleep you receive. Before bedtime, drink water, tea, or other non-caffeinated drinks. 
This may not be appealing as coffee, but warm milk and chamomile can help induce sleep.
4. Alcohol Consumption
Regardless of the drink (beer, wine, liquor), consuming alcohol before bed can make you feel tired, but you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night. Why is that? When your body processes the alcohol, the sedative effect it once had, disappears and may lead to a rebound effect that disturbs your deep sleep.
Stick to drinking a glass earlier in the evening, as it can help prevent late-night awakenings such as bathroom breaks. For more information, please read our blog; you’ll learn why alcohol can mess with your sleep.
5. Regular Exercise Routine
As we mentioned at the beginning, exercising can build muscles and burn calories. It is fantastic for the mind and body. Exercise can help overall sleep, but even more importantly, It can also help a person get quality deep sleep.
Studies reveal  that individuals who work out 2.5 hours per week  are twice as likely to get a better night's sleep. Further, individuals who work out for 30 minutes of mild to moderate exercise may see a difference in sleep quality the same night.
Though exercising has benefits, avoid intense workouts right before bedtime. Intense exercise increases heart rate, which in turn interrupts sleep and it’s overall duration.
6. Maintain Bedtime Routine
Establishing a sleep routine sounds easy, but some may find it challenging to create with all the errands and unexpected events that occur throughout the evening before bed.
Developing a sleep routine can help a person achieve the right amount of sleep each night. Night-time routines are often described as activities that occur right before bedtime each night. Not sure if you have a routine? Take a moment to write down your activities leading up to sleep.
Over time, you'll decide if you need to create one, adjust the current routine, or explore activities that can help you relax, including reading, listening to music, taking a warm shower or bubble bath, or meditating. Adopting a routine can help your mind associate the above activities with bedtime.
Night-Time Routine Tip: It’s OK if you don’t execute the routine the exact way every night. Worrying about perfecting your routine every night can create unwanted anxiety before sleep.
7. Consistent Sleep Schedule
Like having a consistent sleep routine leading up to bedtime, sticking to a sleep schedule is also important. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time. Even weekends. Even holidays. This can be challenging for some as staying up late or sleeping in on the weekends can be tempting. 
Did You Know: Research has revealed that staying on a consistent sleep schedule can help people fall asleep more quickly, allowing them to get the necessary deep sleep.
Interested in learning more about the importance of a schedule, read our blog The Importance and Benefits of a Sleep Schedule
8. Yoga Exercises
Yoga is an excellent discipline to focus both the mind and body. Certain yoga practices can also enhance sleep quality, including cyclic meditation. Cyclic meditation combines yoga with rest periods while lying on your back. Performing this type of yoga can help improve deep sleep.
Searching for another option? Yoga Nidra is another form of exercise that can prepare your mind and body for sleep. It’s a guided yoga meditation that involves deep breathing and helps with promoting deep sleep. Try to add a yoga practice into a nightly routine or right before bed.
Before going to bed, try this 3-minute bedtime yoga routine. It can help relax both the mind and body, allowing a person to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Here are two yoga exercises that you can try throughout the day:
Take a look at our other yoga videos.
Yoga Study: Positive Impact of Cyclic Meditation on Sleep 
9. Listen to White, Pink, or Brown Noise
Sleeping with white, brown, or pink noise plays a role in falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. As an air purifier, white noise machine, or fan, white noise is commonly used to help drown out or block out the noises that can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. Learn more about white noise and how it can help with sleep.
Pink noise contains calming nature sounds such as rainfall, leaves rustling in the wind, or waves crashing on the beach. These sounds help increase deep sleep. Interested in learning more about pink noise? Please read our blog that focuses on what pink noise is and the benefits it has with sleep.
Sleep Study: A study of patients having trouble sleeping revealed that white noise helped them fall asleep 38% more quickly. 
10. Limit Exposure to Lights and Sounds
Having excessive light in your bedroom can drastically reduce the quality of your deep sleep by disrupting the natural sleep cycles and hindering the production of melatonin in the brain.
To combat this, sleep kits have been used that include sleep masks and earplugs. They can help block out unwanted lights and sounds, which can help improve the overall quality of your sleep. Additionally, blackout curtains are also recommended to help reduce noise and light.
Sleep Mask Study: The Effects of Earplugs and Eye Masks
Although there are no exact rules to follow to achieve more deep sleep, a change in sleeping habits for the better could help enhance the sleep quality, and ensure that a person gets enough deep sleep.
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 Messineo, L., Taranto-Montemurro, L., Sands, S. A., Oliveira Marques, M. D., Azabarzin, A., & Wellman, D. A. (2017). Broadband Sound Administration Improves Sleep Onset Latency in Healthy Subjects in a Model of Transient Insomnia. Frontiers in neurology, 8, 718. View Study