"D" as in Deep Sleep - Oxford House

“D” as in Deep Sleep

Imagine the sleep cycle as a large wheel turning clockwise, passing through four different stages that repeat one after the other until the alarm clock rings. The first three stages are called NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement), while the fourth is the famous REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase, where sleep is lighter. Each cycle lasts between 90 and 120 minutes, then starts again from the beginning. Typically, an adult goes through 4 to 6 sleep cycles in one night. Of these, the deep sleep phase, which occupies about 20% of the night, is the most restful and beneficial. It’s the time when muscles are most relaxed, and even heart rate and breathing slow down. If someone were to try to wake you up during this phase, they would really struggle, and if they did, you would remain mentally foggy for a while before fully waking up. Achieving deep sleep is therefore a common desire because it has great benefits. According to some studies published in 2018 in the medical journal Sleep Medicine Reviews, the deep sleep phase helps strengthen the immune system and releases growth hormones useful for tissue repair. Additionally, it enhances memory, aids concentration, and improves metabolism. Here are three tips for achieving deep and restful sleep.

Sleep Tourism: In Search of Lost Sleep

Less excursions and guided tours, and more hours of sleep. This is what many travelers around the world desire when they go on vacation with the aim of experiencing more peaceful and restful nights compared to when they are at home, where worries, traffic noises, or baby cries jeopardize their nights. Hotel facilities have not overlooked this trend, driven by increasingly hectic lifestyles and also by the aftermath of the pandemic, and numerous proposals have blossomed to transform stays into veritable sleep retreats, thus recovering the psychophysical well-being that only good sleep can ensure. Offerings range from soundproofed rooms to meditation sessions to be practiced with experts before falling asleep, to relaxing showers utilizing chromotherapy, and massages accompanied by the vibrations of Tibetan bells. Some hotels also offer personalized programs that start with sleep analysis to identify the chronotype, based on which the ideal times to wake up and go to sleep are determined.

When Aromatherapy Improves Sleep

Essential oils can also contribute to improving the quality of our sleep, especially for those who have difficulty falling asleep or wake up several times during the night, perhaps due to light sleep or mental hyperactivity. The ideal way to harness all their benefits is not to inhale their aroma from bottles but to apply a few drops inside the wrists and rub them well together to activate the molecules. Then it is recommended to bring them close to the face and breathe consecutively for at least five times. The longer you can prolong this olfactory journey, the better. A practical alternative is also essential oil sprays to be sprayed on the pillowcase. Among the most used are those based on marjoram, green mandarin, Roman chamomile, and petitgrain.

The Sleep Beauty Routine

Why not make the most of the approximately 7-8 hours we sleep to take care of ourselves? The sleeping mask, which is part of the typical Korean skincare routine, is designed for this purpose. Usually, it replaces the night cream and should be applied, with a gentle massage, to the cleansed face at least fifteen minutes before going to bed as the final step in skincare, so the skin can absorb it well without the risk of leaving stains on the pillow during sleep. These are not the typical sheet masks that adhere to the face but rather creamy products that need a few hours to act and take effect. There are various types: nourishing, anti-wrinkle, illuminating, whitening, and plumping. In the morning, proceed with face washing as usual. It is ideal to apply it a couple of times a week as an extra treat. Perhaps in the evening before a day that you anticipate being more demanding than usual. This way, the boost of energy for your skin will add to the typical feeling of well-being from a deep and restorative sleep on the right mattress. Close-up shot of a Dorelan mattress