Adults and Deep Sleep: How Much Is Enough Each Night?
Deep sleep is one of the most important stages of sleep, but how much do adults need? Discover the answer to this and the importance of deep sleep here.
Published February 4, 2023.
Adults need differing amounts of sleep, depending upon their age, sex, overall health, exercise levels. More importantly, they need quality deep sleep as much as quantity.
The stages of sleep are usually divided into four, including awake, light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep. Deep sleep usually begins within an hour of falling asleep and is the most restorative portion, integral to optimum physical and mental health.
Recommended Amount of Sleep Adults Need
7-9 hours of sleep per night is the recommended amount of sleep for most adults, and 15-23% of these hours should be in deep sleep (1).
For example, if you get 7 hours of sleep per night, then between 1 hour and 3 minutes and 1 hour and 36 minutes per night should be in deep sleep.
Why Deep Sleep Is So Important
Deep sleep is essential for the following:
- Memory consolidation Evidence suggests that memory becomes more stable during deep sleep (2).
- Processing of the day's emotions and emotional regulation (3)
- Provoking ideal hormone release
- Physical recovery from the day's activities
- Optimum immune system function through the production of cytokines (4)
- Balancing our metabolism
Our bodies will regulate the amount of deep sleep for the most part, though it will diminish as we age. If we don't get the appropriate amount of deep sleep, we are far more likely to suffer fatigue during the day.
However, there are many things we can do at home to improve the quality and duration of our deep sleep.
Dr Lori Beth Bisbey