Effects of a Deep Sleep on your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep differs both in quality and quantity. The quantity of sleep is the number of hours one can sleep or the duration of the rest. Regarding sleep quality, we can begin to talk about how deep sleep gets and how refreshing it is after you wake up. As for the quantity of sleep, it is not always directly proportional to sleep quality. In other words, one may have slept for several hours and still not have the same quality as someone who slept for just an hour. 

On the other hand, the value of your sleep depends on these two characteristics of sleep. There may be many factors that are responsible for that scenario or condition. But this article will focus on the effects of good sleep and how one can achieve it for healthy sleep hygiene. However, let us begin with what deep sleep is, especially what research has discovered about getting a good quality of sleep and different stages of sleep

What is a Deep sleep?

Deep sleep refers to the stage of sleep that is associated with the slowest brain wave while one is sleeping. When synchronizing the sleep activity on an EEG graph, there are the slow-wave and the high tides. This slow wave is responsible for relatively high amplitude and a low frequency, usually less than 1Hz. 

Similarly, a downstate of the wave is characteristic of an initial section, followed by an inhibition period where the neurons inside the neocortex are now silent and inactive. At this same period, the neocortical neurons can also rest for the next surge of the wave. Afterward, a new section of the wave begins with an upstate, with the neurons excited and happening quickly. 

We refer to this phase as depolarizing, while the former state is called a hyperpolarizing phase. When measuring the slow-wave sleep compared to the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep cycle, some of the characteristics of the former are absent with a slow eye movement. Other features of the former include the moderate muscle tone and a lack of genital activity during the period. 

Characteristics of a Deep Sleep

When experiencing deep sleep in terms of sleep hygiene, there are a couple of ways to identify it. However, these features depend on the device or measuring tool used, such as

  • The Electroencephalograph (EEG) as s tool can demonstrate the delta waves of seep. By the way, delta waves are low frequency and high amplitude waves
  • A high arousal threshold of sleep
  • Consolidation of memories
  • Presumed restoration of the body and the brain
Effects of a Deep Sleep on your Sleep Hygiene

Importance of Deep Sleep to Your Sleep Hygiene

Deep sleep is an essential ingredient for consolidating good and new memories. And this process is called Sleep-dependent Memory Processing. As for the individuals who have primary insomnia, it may be accompanied by a memory consolidation. This condition means that the person may not perform at the optimum level like regular patients in terms of the memory completion tasks after waking up from sleep. 

Moreover, the process improves declarative memory during a period of slow-wave sleep. Also, it includes both the semantic and the episodic memory, which all contribute to your overall sleep hygiene. A central model was proposed in the past based on long-term memory storage and use. A neocortical and hippocampal network interaction promotes this activity. 

In addition, more studies showed that when the research subjects are taught a process of declarative memory tasks. It returns a high density of human sleep compared to those with a non-learning control memory task. At the same time, this condition is characteristic of unconscious wave oscillations inside the intracellular recordings of the thalamic and cortical neurons of the brain. 

Functions of a Deep Sleep

Several research studies have shown that sleep deprivation is a significant issue that several people face in real life. Meanwhile, the multiple uses of deep sleep are to afford the brain a long time to restore from the daily activities it may have gone through. Also, since the brain has been active throughout the day, it is only reasonable to allow its rest through a short sleep wave. 

While the brain consumes much glucose through metabolism during the active hours of the day, a different activity occurs when resting. The other function of the brain when we have a deep sleep is that the slow-wave cause the secretion of certain hormones to rise at this stage. On the other hand, this stage also increases parasympathetic neural activity levels. At the same time, the sympathetic neural activity reduces as a result. 

Effects of a Deep Sleep on your Sleep Hygiene

The Sleep Disorders that Occur during Deep Sleep

Certain sleep disorders may prevent you from maintaining sleep hygiene during deep sleep. Mainly, these disorders, also called parasomnias, occur most when a slow wave occurs during deep sleep. Examples include Somnambulism, also known as sleepwalking, and sleep terrors, also known as night terrors. 

The other ones may include Enuresis, bedwetting, sexsomnia, or even sleep eating. All these disorders are associated with having a short or slow-wave deep sleep. Another deep sleep anomaly is called narcolepsy, which is an experience of fragmented deep sleep. 

Factors responsible for the rise in the slow-wave of Deep Sleep

When one continues to have a slow wave in a deep sleep, some particular factors are often responsible. These experiences cause prolonged exercise and heating up of the body. An example is an immersion in a hot tub or a sauna. The most specific cause of this situation is a rise in the brain temperature exceeding a set threshold. 

Typically, the circadian rhythm and the homeostatic processes of the body are supposed to regulate the body temperature, including the brain. But when one does not feed so well or runs low on a carbohydrate diet, a healthy person may cause a slow wave to rise in the percentage during sleep. Another factor could be the intake of antidepressant drugs or SSRIs. 

Conclusion

When pursuing healthy sleep hygiene, the slow-wave stage of the three stages of sleep is the most important one. Moreover, it forms an essential part of the brain’s cognitive functioning. In addition, it promoted memory consolidation and the restoration of the brain after undergoing some activities. Easy ways to overcome this trouble are through a healthy diet and body and mind exercise. Eventually, you can still enjoy excellent sleep hygiene or lifestyle. 

Dangers of a Poor Sleep Hygiene

Many people ignore the benefits of good sleep hygiene and easily fall victim to some of the terrible hazards of a good sleeping habit. It is easy to assume that you can easily catch up without effects if you miss the quality and quantity of sleep you deserve for some days. While the first part of the statement is not wrong, the second part is not as easy as it seems.

The idea of repaying the sleep debt ignores that it can only work for a short time and not for a lengthy period. Otherwise, the lack of sleep may cause irreparable damage. On the other end of the spectrum, some people have picked up old habits to enforce sleep while ignoring the sleep hygiene tips that could be safer, cheaper, and healthier. 

A lack of sleep can undoubtedly create a terrible feeling of grumpiness and fogginess. But then, do you know that getting it right with sleep hygiene can save your life, restore your sex drive, and help you regain short-term memory. In addition, you can even begin to get a better chance at controlling your body weight and health. Below are some of the most surprising effects of lack of sleep or poor sleep hygiene.

Sleepiness can cause accidents

Although this effect is usually unintended, sleep deprivation is a common factor in bringing about large disasters in recent history. Sleep loss can cause a substantial public disaster on the highway, as there are some records of automobile accidents caused by a sleepy driver. Meanwhile, it does not even have to take a long sleep or nap. Slight drowsiness or slumbering can slow down the reaction that a driver should have in response to impromptu challenges. 

A research study observed and recorded the level of fatigue in a crop of drivers before setting out. And it was discovered that thousands of auto crashes are due to this fatigue condition and even led to auto crash deaths worldwide. It may also cause some injuries. On the other hand, work accidents have been associated with daytime sleepiness. At the same time, they may report more sick days for each accident. 

Lack of sleep can lower your mental strength

When you fail to get enough sleep, you may be hurting your ability to think and learn properly. That way, rest relates directly to the cognitive strength of your brain in many ways. The first effect one may notice some measure of alertness, attention, reasoning, concentration, and problem-solving skill. Lack of sleep may also add to the difficulty of efficient learning.

In addition, a disrupted sleep cycle during the night specifically can injure your chances of consolidating valuable memories. And without the proper learning and ability to assimilate, it won’t be easy to recollect what has been learned during the day. More so, the mind may feel tired and unyielding. 

Dangers of a Poor Sleep Hygiene

Serous health challenges as a result of sleep deprivation

There are countless diseases whose risk stems from the sleep disorders that a person may experience. For instance, some of these diseases include

If we take insomnia, for example, a considerable percentage of patients with the disorder have one type of disorder. When this happens, they find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep due to underlying health conditions.

Sleeplessness kills sex drive

According to specialists, lack of sleep can also be responsible for a lowered libido or sex drive. This condition can be observed in men and women and can even be expressed in diminished sex interest. In addition to the decreased sex drive, the person experiencing a lack of sleep can also experience depleted energy, high tension, and sleepiness. 

Notably, men suffering from sleep apnea, a respiratory problem associated with sleep, can contribute to sexual sloppiness. In addition, clinical research also suggested that sleep apnea can also cause a reduced testosterone level. It can also happen to such men the night when the body secretes a low testosterone level because it did not get the expected amount of sleep.  

Depression can be a result of a lack of sleep. 

Good sleep hygiene can overcome depression in many cases. On the other hand, insomnia and other sleep disorders have been confirmed as common causes of depression. America once conducted sleep research in 2005 that reported that many people suffered from anxiety and depression.

Dangers of a Poor Sleep Hygiene

Also, these people were less likely to sleep for six hours or even less at night. At the same time, insomnia as a sleep disorder today has the most vital link to depression. Statistics even showed that people with insomnia are five times more likely to develop depression over time than those without it. Also, insomnia is the first sign or symptom of depression. 

It is difficult to achieve excellent sleep hygiene without acknowledging the relationship between insomnia and depression. The lack of sleep enhances the tendency to have depression. As a result, it makes it more and more difficult to fall asleep. As the patient treats one of the two predicaments, it can help overcome the other. For example, treating sleep problems can overcome depression and vice versa.

Sleeplessness can contribute to the aging of the skin

When the skin suddenly sags and the eyes begin to puff early, it could be associated with a lack of sleep. Clearly, a person who hasn’t slept well shows swollen eyes. But in the advanced stages of this condition of chronic sleep loss, the skin may begin to show some lackluster texture, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. 

On the other hand, when we don’t get enough sleep, the body secretes some measure of the stress hormone cortisol into it. If this hormone accrues over time, cortisol can begin to break down the skin protein collagen. The collagen was meant to keep the skin smooth and elastic. In addition to the stress hormone, the body also releases too little of the human growth hormone due to sleep loss. 

A younger person should have more growth hormone to enhance their rapid growth. But this same hormone is responsible for muscle mass, bone strengthening, and skin thickening. It is during sleep that this hormone is often released into our bodies. The secretion process also enhances the repair of the normal tissue, including replacing the wear and tear of the day. 

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