How Much Deep Sleep Should You Have, How Many Hours Is Enough For Adults And Children And Why’s It Important?
This type of sleep is the deepest stage of sleep architecture when the brain waves slow and it allows for growth and healing
GETTING the right amount of sleep is important to our day to day functioning, but there is one particular stage of sleep that’s crucial to keeping healthy.
Deep sleep, also known as delta sleep due to the slowing of brain waves, is said to help us remain healthy and functional as we age – so here’s all you need to know.
What is deep sleep?
Sleep can be split into four different stages: stage 1, the lightest sleep, stage 2, which is the most enjoyable sleep, REM, in which we dream, and stage 3 – deep sleep.
Deep sleep is when the brain waves slow and resemble what is known as a delta pattern, and the heart rate and breathing rate also slow down.
The thinking parts of the brain essentially shut down, the muscles completely relax and no dreams take place during this time.
This type of sleep is when the body grows and heals, with the body secreting various hormones to repair muscles and tissues, as well as strengthening your immune system.
How much deep sleep should we be getting?
While half of our nights sleep is spent in stage 2 sleep, and a further quarter in REM, we should spend around 15 to 20 per cent in a deep sleep.
The stage will only last for a few minutes per cycle, and we are most likely to experience it in the first hours of our nights sleep, when we are less likely to be woken up.
Adults should aim for more than 1 and a half hours of deep sleep per night, or around 20 per cent of their overall night, and you can never have too much of it.
For children the figures remain the same, requiring 20 per cent depending on the full amount of sleep recommended for their age.
Babies should be sleeping from 12 to 17 hours a day, toddlers between 10 and 14 hours and school-age children between 9 and 11 hours, with teenagers needing even less at 10 hours.