We get asked a lot, “What is light sleep and deep sleep?”

Many people think that you just fall asleep and stay asleep all night, but the truth is that there are a few different stages of sleep that your body goes through over and over every night. Understanding these sleep stages can help you to know whether you’re getting enough sleep to be healthy, or if you need to change up your lifestyle to sleep more and better.

Read on to find out the answer to “What is light sleep and deep sleep?”

What is Light Sleep and Deep Sleep?

Your sleep can be divided into “light” and “deep” sleep, but there are actually five different stages of sleep:

Stage 1 – Stage 1 is considered light sleep. This is when you’re first falling asleep, so you’re just drifting off, shifting from wakefulness to sleep. This non-REM sleep stage is usually very short-lasting—just as long as it takes you to start falling asleep, relax, and begin to dream. You may experience some twitching or jerking body movements as you transition into the next phase of sleep; don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal!

Stage 2 – Stage 2 is also considered light sleep, though you are transitioning into the deeper sleep stages at this point. Your muscles relax, your body temperature starts to drop, your heartbeat slows down, and you breathe more slowly. During this stage, your brain waves also start to grow less active. Your body is getting ready for “deep sleep”, so everything is slowing down and shutting down.

Stages 3 and 4 – At Stage 3, you officially enter “deep sleep”, transitioning fully into the deepest sleep by Stage 4. Your body is extremely relaxed at this point, and your brain waves are at their lowest levels. Your breathing and heart rate are drastically reduced, your body temperature is low, and it would be very difficult to rouse you from this deep sleep stage.

Stage 4 is the most important of the sleep stages. It’s during Stage 4 sleep that your body makes all the repairs to your muscles, tissues, and cells. Cellular energy is also restored during this phase. Your body even releases more hormones to encourage cellular growth and restoration. Your body needs more deep sleep in order to make the necessary repairs.

REM Sleep – Rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep is also known as Stage 5 sleep, and it typically occurs 90 minutes after you fall asleep. It then recurs every 90 minutes as your body cycles through REM and deep sleep. Your eyes move around behind your closed eyelids (hence the name “rapid eye movement” sleep) and your brainwaves are actually as active as they are when you’re awake. Your blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate all rise, but your body is actually temporarily paralyzed—a necessary mechanism to stop you from actively acting out the dreams you have in REM sleep.

These are the five stages of your sleep. As explained above, Stage 4 is the most important of the stages—unfortunately, your body spends far less time in deep sleep than you might like. On average, healthy adults spend just 13 to 23% of their nights in deep sleep. The rest of the time, it’s shifting between REM sleep (up to 25%) and lighter sleep.

Typically, infants, children, and adolescents tend to have a fairly healthy balance between the various stages of sleep. It’s usually only as adults that your deep sleep decreases and you spend more time in the lighter sleep stage and REM sleep (which has been linked to higher depression rates). It’s important that you make changes to your lifestyle to encourage more, better deep sleep.

What is Light Sleep and Deep Sleep? How to Get More Deep Sleep

Here are a few things that will increase the amount of time your body spends in deep sleep every night:

  • Reduce stress. Stress prevents your body from fully relaxing and entering deep sleep. High levels of stress can actually keep you shifting between light and REM sleep for most of the night, decreasing your deep sleep.

  • Exercise. Exercise pushes your body to its limits and triggers muscle, tissue, and cellular damage that the body needs to repair—which it can only do during deep sleep. Plus, exercise triggers fatigue and makes you sleepier at night.

  • Listen to soothing music or white noise. Whatever helps you to relax and fall asleep more easily.

  • Use an eye mask. This will block out any light that could interfere with your deeper sleep.

  • Follow a sleep schedule. Your body naturally adapts to a schedule or routine, so following the same pattern every night will help you sleep from wakefulness to light sleep to deep sleep more effectively.

  • Meditate. Not only will this help to relax your mind and body, but it can reduce stress and the anxiety that keeps you awake at night.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Eat foods that encourage sleep (such as foods rich in serotonin and tryptophan), and avoid caffeine and stimulants that could interfere with sleep at night.

Try PureSleep for More, Better, and Deeper Sleep

If you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep, our PureSleep capsules may be just what you need!

PureSleep is an all-natural sleep product made using only premium organic ingredients, remedies that have been used for centuries to encourage better sleep quality (specifically, deeper sleep). The supplement has been specifically formulated to soothe your brain, shut down your nervous system, and help your body to relax so you can slip more easily into deep sleep. Thanks to the anti-anxiety properties of some of our amazing ingredients—such as Ashwagandha and magnolia bark extract—you can still your mind and reduce stress, encouraging better, easier sleep.

You’ve got the answer to “what is light sleep and deep sleep?” so now it’s up to you to try the remedy that will give you the high-quality sleep you need!