How To Get The Incredibly Important Stage Three Sleep

A lot more is happening beneath the surface while you snooze than you probably think. Beyond refreshing your mind and body, your sleep cycle also repairs your tissues, nerves, and even your brain. All of that requires a special type of rest to take place. According to Mindbodygreen, our systems undergo four stages of sleep every night, but the third is one of the most important.

Essentially, stage three sleep is our deepest point of sleep, where intense repair and regeneration can take place. This is where your blood flow increases and repairs your muscles, your brain waves slow to a point where they can flush waste, and your blood pressure drops, Mindbodygreen reports. Make no mistake — you need this type of sleep to feel good on a physical and mental level. 

During this deep sleep, your brain recharges itself in various ways, including through the "flushing" process, in which it releases the old and leaves space to make new neurological connections, Mindbodygreen explains. For those undergoing intense workouts or a stressful lifestyle, stage three sleep rebuilds and repairs the system in the most effective ways possible. You're also deeply relaxed during this phase, making it more difficult to wake up while you're in it, the Sleep Foundation reports.

Get to sleep earlier to reap the benefits of stage three sleep

REM actually happens after stage three sleep, meaning that it's an important part of your rest cycle, VeryWell Health notes. This period is also when you're less reactive to noises and other disturbances that may affect your sleep, signaling the deep restoration taking place. To get the most out of this phase, it's important to keep your sleep routine intact.

Start to relax when bedtime comes around by turning off your screens, reading a book, or doing some deep breathing, Mindbodygreen suggests. Plus, stage three rest usually takes place earlier in the night, so the sooner you get to bed, the better. Once you've found a regimen that works for you, stick to it. Helping your body unwind easier and at a faster pace, a well-kept sleep schedule takes the guessing out of the equation. For instance, at ten p.m., your body will know that it's time to rest and get that much-needed recalibration that takes place during each of the four phases of sleep.

Without this phase of sleep, you may wake up feeling groggy and less than rested. When you practice self-care and good sleep hygiene, your body can more easily rest and fully reap the benefits of stage three sleep.