The Benefits of Deep Sleep
How many mornings do you wake up with a yawn, wishing you could get just a few more hours of shut eye? And if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, odds are you experience daytime drowsiness more often than not—that feeling of tiredness can be tenfold! This is because with obstructive sleep apnea, you may wake as often as over 30 times an hour—and never settle into a good deep sleep.
It’s no fun feeling tired—but beyond that, a good night of sleep has more health benefits than you can even imagine. Let’s take a look at the many proven benefits of deep sleep.
Benefits of deep sleep.
1. Strengthened memories and learning.
According to the article “The Deep Clean of Deep Sleep,” deep sleep is known as a time when your brain clears out waste. During this time, short-term memories are strengthened and moved into long-term storage. This increases your recall—and may explain why some people see benefits from studying before they sleep.
2. Activated immune system.
A common question posed to doctors is whether a lack of sleep can make you sick. It’s important to know that deep sleep actually is helpful in building a strong immune system. The Mayo Clinic explained some of the reason: “During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.”
3. Healing and growth.
According to Healthline, deep sleep is essential for growth—the pituitary gland secretes important hormones, like human growth hormone, leading to growth and development of the body. During deep sleep, hormones are released that promote this growth as well as those that regenerate cells and repair tissues and bones.
4. Daytime energy.
Deep sleep is essential to waking up with your energy restored. Because this is the stage of sleep where your body renews and repairs itself, all of the work mentioned above leads to waking up feeling refreshed. In addition, this stage of sleep appears to enhance your ability to make ATP, an energy molecule. Read more about all of the combined benefits leading to more energy at Harvard.edu.
5. Improved mood.
You don’t need to be told that a good night of sleep can improve your mood. But research has shown why, associating a good night of sleep with stabilized emotions. And University of California – Berkeley found that deep sleep is the stage most able to calm and reset the anxious brain, since anxiety levels lower as your brain resets.
6. Weight and overall health.
Overall, getting a good night of sleep has been linked to benefits like lower risk of weight gain—possibly because of a decrease in fatigue, less of the hormones associated with hunger, and more. It also has been linked to better calorie regulation and athletic performance. Learn more about these benefits on Medical News Today.
Do you feel like you might be missing out on some of these deep sleep benefits because of the possibility of obstructive sleep apnea?
In the Johns Hopkins article “The Dangers of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea,” it discusses that people with sleep apnea miss out on settling into a deep, nourishing sleep—with significant consequences, according to Jonathan Jun, M.D., a pulmonary and sleep medicine specialist at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center. He says, “We’re talking about car accidents in the daytime, lost productivity at work, mood swings, waking up feeling groggy and falling asleep in class.”
If you are ready for that good deep sleep you long for, maybe it’s time to check in to see if you may have obstructive sleep apnea. It’s easier than you may think—set up an appointment for a consultation to get started. This way you can be on your way to enjoying all the benefits listed above, and have a satisfying sleep—waking up feeling rested and ready to live your best life.