How is your sleep score and readiness?

I have been using the OURA Ring since February 2021 and LOVE how much I can learn from the information each day.

What does the OURA Ring do for improving our performance and longevity?

We can figure out what works and what doesn’t work to optimize our sleep- specifically our REM and DEEP SLEEP time.

In general, each cycle moves sequentially through each stage of sleep: wake, light sleep, deep sleep, REM, and repeat.  Cycles earlier in the night tend to have more deep sleep while later cycles have a higher proportion of REM. By the final cycle, your body may even choose to skip deep sleep altogether.

https://ouraring.com/blog/sleep-stages/
https://ouraring.com/blog/sleep-stages/

I definately to best with 8-9 hours of sleep per night plus going to bed around 8PM as I wake up around 5AM (weekdays) up to 6AM without an alarm- depending on the time of year (sunset/sunrise). My deep sleep is the first half of the night – which reinforces the importance of getting to bed on time!

What exactly happens in REM Sleep?

We hear about it but do you really understand what is happening while you sleep? REM sleep has a major influence on our memory, mental focus and also our MOOD! REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and it is one of our two main stages of our sleep. We are in REM or in NREM…Non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep phase.

Our NREM sleep stages are broken down even further into three parts.

  1. Starting to fall asleep
  2. Light sleep
  3. Deep sleep

Deep sleep is when our breathing slow down, our blood pressure drops and our ENERGY is renewed or restored. Our sleep cycles are about 90-minutes long – as we alternate between REM for 25% of the time and NREM sleep for 75% of the rest of th time. We should be getting, in the ideal world, five to six full sleep cycles which is equal to 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

You know if you have had a good night sleep if you wake up feeling energized, refreshed, repaired and rested…ready to tackle the day. Ready to THRIVE -instead of SURVIVING the day!

Read more here about sleep cycles and REM sleep: https://www.thensf.org/what-is-rem-sleep/

Why Is REM Sleep Important?

REM sleep plays a significant role in helping your brain consolidate and process new information. This information is then retained in your long-term memory. REM sleep also helps to ensure better mental concentration and mood regulation, two things that are critical to both your daily work performance and overall quality of life. The negative effects from lack of REM sleep are serious: Without this critical sleep stage, your immune system could be weakened, you may experience pain more deeply, and the growth of new healthy cells and tissue in the body might be blocked. Poor REM sleep may be due to sleep disorders such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, which causes you to wake during the night.

https://www.thensf.org/what-is-rem-sleep/

What is deep sleep and why do we want to make sure we get enough each night?

  • energy restoration
  • cell regeneration
  • increasing blood supply to muscles
  • promoting growth and repair of tissues and bones
  • strengthening the immune system
  • pituitary gland secretes important hormones- as human growth hormone, leading to growth and development of the body.
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/deep-sleep

What are the benefits of DEEP Sleep?

This stage of sleep is also known as delta sleep, slow-wave sleep, or, more recently, N3. It is called delta sleep because of the presence of high-amplitude, low-frequency delta waves that are seen to occur in the EEG. In the past, this stage was divided into two stages, stage 3 and stage 4, depending on the percentage of delta waves present. Stage 4 has a greater amount of delta wave activity than stage 3, and was thought of as a deeper state of sleep. Research has not, however, been able to clearly show any significant difference in the benefit of these two stages, and more recently they have been combined into a single stage—N3. This stage of sleep is also known as delta sleep, slow-wave sleep, or, more recently, N3. It is called delta sleep because of the presence of high-amplitude, low-frequency delta waves that are seen to occur in the EEG. In the past, this stage was divided into two stages, stage 3 and stage 4, depending on the percentage of delta waves present. Stage 4 has a greater amount of delta wave activity than stage 3, and was thought of as a deeper state of sleep. Research has not, however, been able to clearly show any significant difference in the benefit of these two stages, and more recently they have been combined into a single stage—N3. Human growth hormone is released in pulses during deep sleep, and interruption of this stage abruptly stops its release.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleepless-in-america/201010/the-mysterious-benefits-deep-sleep
Oura Ring

How to get more DEEP SLEEP?

WHOOP MEMBERS’ BEST WAYS TO GET MORE DEEP SLEEP

  • Blue-light blocking glasses before bed. Opinions vary, but it may be worth putting them on up to 3 hours before you go to bed.
  • Ear plugs while sleeping.
  • Breathwork to relieve stress, either during the day or prior to sleep. Here’s more about diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Massage therapy, and in particular the practice of cupping, after which our members average 1 more minute of deep sleep despite no increase in total time asleep.
  • Steam room and sauna, with the dry heat of a sauna correlating with the greater proportional increase in deep sleep between the two.
  • Plant-based diet. This is obviously a more significant lifestyle choice, but when WHOOP members report they are following a plant-based diet they average 2 additional minutes of sleep, with half of that (1 minute) being deep sleep.
  • DEEP SLEEP INHIBITORSThe following things logged in the WHOOP journal have a negative correlation with deep sleep:Stress. When our members report feeling stressed they average 8 fewer minutes of sleep and 1 minute less of deep sleep.
    • Device in bed. Use of a screened device in bed corresponds with a 1-minute decrease in total sleep and deep sleep.
    • Shared bed. Although WHOOP members average 12 more minutes of sleep per night when they share a bed with another person, they actually lose 1 minute of deep sleep. This doesn’t come as a surprise though, noises and movements from your partner in bed may often diminish your sleep quality.
    • consuming alcohol before bed can be extremely detrimental to deep sleep. When your body is forced to process alcohol during sleep it has trouble getting beyond light sleep and into deep sleep.
    • https://www.whoop.com/thelocker/increase-deep-sleep/

What are the benefits of REM Sleep?

Check out these patterns to see if your sleep is being disrupted:Increase in deep sleep after a hard workout: Exercise can increase your body’s prioritization of deep sleep the night after an intensive workout.1

Higher REM rebound after sleep deprivation: When you recover from a period of sleep deprivation, your body prioritizes deep sleep for the first few nights to repair your body and prepare for action. After several nights of sufficient deep sleep, REM sleep rebounds  to focus on your brain.

Interrupted sleep cycles after caffeine: Caffeine can increase the time it takes for you to fall asleep, cutting your sleep period short. Shorter sleep periods disproportionately cut down on your total REM sleep, as REM cycles are more likely to occur in later sleep cycles. We all have those days when we “just need our coffee.” However, taking a look at your nightly patterns (e.g. heart rate, body temperature) and acting on your desire to improve your sleep can help you face those days well rested.

https://ouraring.com/blog/sleep-stages/

What is my sleep hygeine routine at night?

Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Getting enough sleep is good for your health.  Here are a few tips to improve your sleep:
  • Set a schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but no later than a few hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day and alcoholic drinks before bed.
  • Relax before bed – try a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine.
  • Create a room for sleep – avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and don’t watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake.  If you can’t get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to music, until you feel tired. 
  • Learn more about improving your sleep here: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/understanding-Sleep#2

What throws off your sleep and impacts your recovery?

Check out these patterns to see if your sleep is being disrupted:

Increase in deep sleep after a hard workout: Exercise can increase your body’s prioritization of deep sleep the night after an intensive workout.1

Higher REM rebound after sleep deprivation: When you recover from a period of sleep deprivation, your body prioritizes deep sleep for the first few nights to repair your body and prepare for action. After several nights of sufficient deep sleep, REM sleep rebounds  to focus on your brain.

Interrupted sleep cycles after caffeine: Caffeine can increase the time it takes for you to fall asleep, cutting your sleep period short. Shorter sleep periods disproportionately cut down on your total REM sleep, as REM cycles are more likely to occur in later sleep cycles.

https://ouraring.com/blog/sleep-stages/

What are you doing now to optimize your sleep cycle?

Are you tracking your sleep with OURA or WHOOP band?

Are you tracking your Heart Rate Variability each morning?

How do you know if your body and mind is recovered?

Let me know and we can dive into another SLEEP podcast episode!

The WHOLESTIC Method Coach,

Debbie Potts

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