What is deep sleep?

What is deep sleep?

Did you know there are actually five stages of sleep? Each stage can be easily distinguished from each other: two are light sleep, the following two are deep sleep and the fifth is a short, 15-minute burst of rapid eye movement, or REM sleep.

Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina shares her thoughts on deep sleep versus REM sleep.

What does deep sleep mean?

In deep, non-dreamless sleep, there is virtually no body movement and it is likely that this is where our deepest restoration comes from. Deep sleep phases vary in duration throughout the night with the first 90 minute cycle of sleep made up mostly of deep sleep with 7-10 minutes of REM sleep.

What is REM sleep?

REM sleep is the result of the brain trying to scan the events in the dream world. In other words, if you look left and right in your dream, then your eyes will follow the dream and move left and right under your eyelids.

In this stage, your body goes into a state of paralysis or otherwise, we might start acting out our dreams!

REM sleep varies in duration throughout the night with the first stage lasting around 7-10 minutes. As sleep progresses throughout the night the REM stages become longer, to around 45 minutes.

Which is more important?

While deep sleep is vital, so is REM sleep. In laboratory studies, rats who usually live for two or three years, if deprived of REM sleep live only three weeks on average. REM sleep stimulates the brain regions used in learning, particularly for normal brain development during infancy – this could explain why babies spend much more time in REM sleep than adults.

How much deep sleep should you have a night?

Whilst there is a lot of focus on the quantity of sleep that we should be getting, when looking into the benefits of sleep, it seems that quality also plays an important role.

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentnight’s resident sleep expert, has spent her career looking into our sleep patterns and finding ways we can improve them.

Dr Nerina found that we sleep in cycles of roughly 90 minutes called the ultradian cycle. This cycle consists of 5 stages with one and two being ‘light sleep’, three and four ‘deep sleep’ and the fifth being a burst of ‘REM’ (rapid eye movement) sleep.

During these deep stages of sleep, glucose metabolism in the brain improves our short and long term memory capability and supports our overall learning ability. It is also when we restore the most energy and major cell repair occurs. These benefits of deep sleep highlight just how important it is to ensure we allow our bodies to get enough sleep.

How do you fall into a deep sleep?

As we can’t fall directly into deep sleep, the only way we can help encourage us to clock up the hours is to ensure we get enough sleep, at the right times. This includes preparing ourselves for sleep correctly and earlier than many people currently do.

With stage four accounting for 13-23% of our sleep, people may find themselves experiencing a lot less of this essential regenerative rest. To ensure you prepare yourself for as much as possible it is essential to head to bed early. Dr Nerina highlights that even if you’re getting 7-9 hours sleep, heading to bed late you could be depriving you of this regenerative rest.

The hours between 1-3am are where we enter deep restorative sleep, and adequate rest before these hours is essential to allow our bodies to rest fully. Between 9-11pm it’s advised that we start relaxing and preparing for bed. To help drift of during these hours, restricting the use of technology and taking extra steps such as a bicarbonate of soda bath or yoga can help those who struggle getting to sleep.

FREE UK delivery available

FREE UK delivery on orders over £49

Mattresses and divans delivery service

  • FREE UK delivery to a room of your choice
  • Professional 2-man delivery service
  • Includes set-up of your bed or mattress, plus removal and takeaway of the packaging
  • FREE next day delivery available on rolled mattresses

When do we deliver?

We deliver most items between Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm.

How long does delivery take?

Mattresses and divans are delivered within 7-14 days. Bedding is delivered within 3-5 days.

How much is delivery for orders under £49?

Orders of or under £49 will come with a £2.50 delivery charge.

Find out more about our delivery service here

60 night comfort exchange

Our comfort exchange gives you 60 nights to get really comfortable before making a decision. If you're still not loving your new mattress within 60 nights from delivery, you can exchange it for another mattress. It's as simple as that.

Here's how it works:

  1. Pick your new mattress on the official Silentnight website
  2. Sleep on it for at least 28 nights as it can take a little time to adjust to a new mattress
  3. If you're not happy after the initial 28 nights you can exchange it for a new mattress, as long as you claim within 60 nights of delivery

Read more about the 60 night comfort exchange

Total Quality Assurance

Before it gets to you your bed has been through a lot

  • All our mattresses, upholstered bases and headboards are made in the UK
  • All of our product meet European standards and exceed British standards
  • All our Upholstered beds and mattresses ordered through Shop.Silentnight are made to order
  • This means they are not stored for prolonged periods of time and are shipped to you direct from our factory.

Testing

  • Accredited onsite laboratory to bring the best products to you
  • Every Silentnight mattress type is tested to ensure it exceeds all British standards
  • Silentnight products are fully certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®) FSC-C104461
  • We are full members of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Program.
Superbrands The Sleep Council nbf approved