They say if you aren’t getting enough deep sleep, it’s like letting your brain cells swim in their own excrement.
I know that sounds pretty gross. But it’s true.
That’s because deep sleep — called Phase 3 sleep — is the only time your brain can clean itself out and get back into top shape.
And if your brain is working right, everything else is working better, including your metabolism. Which means you lose weight faster.
In fact it’s been well established that if you aren’t getting enough deep Phase 3 sleep, it’s very difficult to lose weight, even if you’re eating right.
So let’s take a quick look at what’s supposed to happen once the Sandman comes and takes you off into La-La-Land.
Most folks should have four or five periods of what’s called REM sleep each night.
It stands for Rapid Eye Movement.
At the beginning of the night your REM phases are quite short and they get longer over the course of the night.
Normally REM sleep makes up 20 percent of your total sleep time.
The rest of the night is NREM sleep (non-REM), which is broken down into Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3.
Phase 3 is your all-important deep sleep.
And it’s also where a lot of people are getting seriously shortchanged and suffering the ill effects.
Now, there’s lots of fancy brainwave science involved, but here are the basics of what’s happening during those 3 phases of NREM sleep.
Phase 1 lasts about 10 minutes and it’s your lightest sleep and straddles the border between sleep and wakefulness.
Your muscles are still active and your eyes move slowly back and forth.
Normally you don’t dream in Phase 1 sleep.
And if you’ve ever jerked awake while trying to get to sleep, it’s during Phase 1 because the muscles are still active.
During Phase 2 your muscle activity declines.
You become less aware of your surroundings.
This is the part of the night where your brain starts working on sleep-based memory consolidation and information processing.
And you spend about half your sleep time here.
Finally, Phase 3 deep sleep is where a lot of the magic happens.
You completely block out the external world, your breathing, heart rate, and temperature all reach their lowest levels.
You may dream during this. And if you’re going to sleepwalk, this is when it’ll happen.
Memory consolidation and information processing also continues in deep sleep.
But the most important thing that happens is the brain’s self-cleaning process.
Your brain has the equivalent of a drainage system that it uses during Phase 3 to get rid of all the toxins and other junk that builds up during the day.
You should get around 15% of your sleep time in Phase 3, but most folks struggle to get anywhere near that.
Which means the brain struggles to stay healthy and vibrant.
So what can you do to ensure a solid night’s sleep, including enough critical Phase 3 deep sleep?
The good news is, it’s pretty simple.
However you have to be consistent and train your body over time to adopt a healthy sleep cycle. It can take some time but it is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Here are my top recommendations for healthy sleep:
😴 Go to bed at the same time each night (preferably before 10:30) so you train your body to ramp up it’s sleep hormones.
😴 Do some light exercise or movement before you start your day. This helps set your internal clock.
😴 Eat light in the 2-3 hours before going to bed in order to avoid interfering with the release of important factors like Growth Hormone crucial to the magic that happens during deep sleep.
😴 Use natural herbal extracts to help the body create the perfect hormonal setup for healthy sleep. Good ones are chamomile, lavender, magnolia bark extract, and valerian root. I love Sleep Slim Tea because it combines all my favorite sleep ingredients into one tasty cup.
😴 Get some natural morning sunlight exposure to set your internal clock.
😴 Limit evening exposure (especially 2 hrs before bed). Blue light from electric light bulbs and device screens especially can suppress the release of melatonin that your brain needs for a good sleep.
It just takes some simple shifts to your daily habits and a bit of perseverance and the next thing you know you’ll be sawing logs as soon as your head hits the pillow.