Scientists agree that sleep is essential for health, and while stages 1 through 4 and REM sleep are important, deep sleep is the most essential of all to feeling rested and staying healthy. While a person needs all stages of sleep, deep sleep is especially important for brain health and functioning. Deep sleep helps the brain create and store new memories and improves its ability to collect and remember information. Get information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and updates for Mayo Clinic patients and visitors.
Deep sleep is the most important stage of sleep we go through every night, as it is vital that our body rests and recovers. While the time you spend at each stage varies the longer you sleep, and you may jump between stages each night, each individual stage remains pretty much the same. Patients with severe, untreated sleep apnea are two to three times more likely to suffer car accidents than the general population. Common sleep disorders include insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) and sleep apnea (difficulty breathing during sleep).
Sleep problems occur in almost everyone with mental disorders, including those with depression and schizophrenia. I started using a CPAP with a full face mask which, while the larger one seems to be the best way to approach using a CPAP during sleep. The widespread practice of “burning the candle on both sides” in Western industrialized societies has created so much sleep deprivation that what is actually abnormal sleepiness is now almost the norm. People with depression, for example, often wake up in the early hours of the morning and find themselves unable to go back to sleep.
The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Since drowsiness is the brain's last step before falling asleep, drowsy driving can, and often does, lead to disaster. In addition to getting enough sleep, a restful sleep requires getting an adequate balance of all stages of sleep. Deep sleep, also called slow-wave sleep, occurs in the third stage of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.
Slow wave sleep, also called deep sleep, is an important stage in the sleep cycle that allows for adequate brain function and memory. Because of the possible impacts of getting insufficient deep sleep, it is important to understand what deep sleep is, the benefits of deep sleep, and the signs of insufficient deep sleep. I have tried to evangelize friends who had also diagnosed sleep apnea, but refused to wear the CPAP mask. Mild sleep apnea can often be overcome by losing weight or preventing a person from sleeping on their backs.