How to Get More Deep Sleep

Deep sleep is the time when our body regenerates. It is when our muscles heal, and our body makes adaptations to exercise. Usually articles about deep sleep contain recommendations for supplements. I believe that at least 80% of deep sleep success will come from our habits.

Deep Sleep and Exercise

Exercise is one of the big ways to improve our sleep. The Goldilocks principle applies here. Not too little, not too much. If we exercise too little we don’t get any stimulation to our body, lymphatic system, and muscles. If we exercise too much, we run the risk of over-stimulating ourselves and not allowing our bodies significant time to repair. I used to get around an hour and a half of deep sleep each night. Since paying more attention to how much I am exercising and controlling intensity, I now routinely get two to two-and-a-half hours of deep sleep each night. I find that controlled increases (1-2 sets per week per body part for lifting, and ~10% increase in cardio each week are sustainable increases that won’t over-stress our bodies.

Eat Well

Once again focusing on the big basics all always create the best results. When choosing a healthy diet, we should always look to eat as many whole foods as we can. Once we get in the habit of eating a good amount of whole food calories (around 15 calories per pound for most people), we can look toward macronutrients. We should ensure that we are eating adequate protein (about 0.8 g/lb) and carbohydrates (about 1.5 g/lb) to make sure we appropriately fuel and recover from workouts.

Get Enough Sleep at the Right Time

cat sleeping

We all know that we should get around 7-9 hours of sleep per night. There is very little debate about this. In addition to getting the optimal amount of sleep, we should sleep at the right time. It seems that the best time to sleep is from 8 pm to 10 pm. This fits fairly naturally within our natural circadian rhythms.

Getting enough deep sleep is a huge component of a healthy lifestyle. What habits have you found essential to getting enough deep sleep? Thanks for reading!

The Oura Ring (Part 1)

Inspect what you expect. Tracking our health and fitness is important for a number of reasons. We can find what works and doesn’t work with our body dealing with sleep and nutrition. We can get a heads up for time periods when we may experience heightened stress. The reasons could probably make a book in and of itself. My personal experience with self-quantification has led me to the Oura Ring. The Oura ring is a normal sized ring used to track various metrics. I plan to talk about the benefits and usefulness of the ring throughout multiple posts, so be on the lookout.

What is the Oura Ring?

The Oura Ring is a self-quantification device. What that means is that the Oura Ring will give you detailed data on what your bodily state is at any given moment. In the paragraphs below, we will discuss the specific metrics you can get from the Oura Ring, and in later posts, we will take a deep dive into those metrics and see what the numbers can tell us.

Design and Specifications:

  • Sleek design coming in a number of colors.
  • The size of a normal ring.
  • Easy charging station and data syncing.
  • Airplane mode available for low EMF use.

I have included some pictures below for scale.

What does the Oura Ring track?

Now this is where the Oura Ring shines. I have used a Fitbit in the past, and the continuous heart rate data (in my opinion) allows for a more accurate calorie count, but the Oura gives much superior data in terms of recovery and sleep.

The Oura Ring uses a very user-friendly interface to display:

  • Resting Heart Rate
  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Body Temperature
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Total Sleep Time
  • Time in Bed
  • Sleep Stages (time spent in each stage)
    • Deep Sleep
    • Light Sleep
    • REM Sleep
  • Walking Equivalency
  • Steps
  • Total Burn (Calories)
  • Daily Movement
    • Low, Medium, and High intensity time tracked

All of these metrics are broken into three screens: Readiness, Sleep, and Activity.

As you can see, the Oura Ring gives so much valuable data and insight into how well our body is functioning. As I stated earlier, in future posts we will look at how to use this data to make meaningful predictions about our health and well-being.

How You Can Get More Deep Sleep

For a long time, I have wondered what the difference between the day after a hard workout where I feel refreshed and one where I still feel beat up and tired. The answer, I have found, is deep sleep.

I happened to stumble upon this discovery this week when I decided to try and create a deep sleep regimen. I had a list of supplements I would take and gadgets to use, and of course my trusty Oura ring to track all of the data. The reason I started tracking is because I knew I would have trouble sleeping. With the start of a new school year AND a wedding to attend (drinking, not a lot of sleep), I know from experience and quantification that my recovery takes a big hit during those times. I was very pleasantly surprised when the data showed that not only had I improved my deep sleep (even under special circumstances), but I also was recovering very quickly!

But something interesting happened. One night I took all my supplements but forgot to run my PEMF machine.The next day I looked at my deep sleep scores, and they had plummeted!

PEMF to Boost Deep Sleep

My wife and I joke that I am working on my PhD in Woo-Woo Science. Ever since I got into “biohacking” I have had the most interesting journey of finding things that worked very well for me and things that also just seemed like a scam. I consider myself a scientist with a sample size of one…me.

Of all the hacks I have tried, my PEMF machine by EarthPulse has delivered the best and the most easily quantifiable results. When I set my EarthPulse to 2.0-3.2 Hz and let it run while I sleep, I easily increase my deep sleep by 45 minutes to an hour and a half. My current record for deep sleep is 2 hours and 48 minutes! As you can imagine, that much deep sleep is a huge boost to recovery.

I was filled with skepticism before I bought this device, and I encourage you to be too. But once I saw what running this during the night did for my recovery, I was sold. It became very obvious that this was the most powerful addition to my sleep regimen. Let’s look at the data!

The first night, Wednesday September 4th, was the second day of school (stressful). I had taken all of my supplements, but forgot one thing…my PEMF machine. As you will see, this made a HUGE difference.

As you can see, this first night I got exactly one hour of deep sleep. Not the biggest deal in the world if you aren’t under stress or exercising vigorously…but I was!

Above is a screenshot of my Oura app for the night I forgot to run my PEMF (the previous night I got about 2 hours of deep sleep). I figured this would be an excellent time for an experiment. The whole first week of school is about equally stressful. I wasn’t eating or exercising any differently, so most factors were controlled for. But this night I ran my PEMF at 3.2 Hz for the duration of my sleep. Now check this out…

Boom! Deep sleep time more than DOUBLED when I ran my PEMF!

Just for good measure, I ran it again the next few nights to see if it may have been a fluke. All of my deep sleep scores were at least two hours, culminating with two hours and 43 minutes today! Take a look!

My personal experience has been that running my PEMF machine (the Earthpulse) has helped increase my deep sleep significantly. There is much more information available on their website (most scientifically backed), so I’ll spare those details.

Try this hack out and let me know how it works for you!

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