My doctors and I have been trying to figure out how to improve my deep sleep as it is so critical in helping with prevention against getting Alzheimer's (APOE4/4). Fantastically, one of my doctors is Bredesen Protocol certified and the other is Shoemaker Protocol (CIRS) certified. They work wonderfully together.
The recent breakthrough in deep sleep involved two things.
1) I was diagnosed with CIRS* (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) and started taking Cholestyramine and Welchol binders to remove mycotoxins. Long story as to my exposures to moldy places but suffice it to say that we determined that I am among the 25% of the population who is genetically predisposed to develop CIRS and I've had multiple exposures to buildings with water intrusion. As the CIRS doctor explained...
Neuroinflammation, as a result of exposure to water damaged buildings, is a major source of sleep dysregulation. Clearing the mycotoxins with binders is likely playing a significant role in your improved sleep.
2) I mentioned my sleep issues to my primary doctor and also expressed concern that I had restless legs. She immediately sent me to a vascular doctor who determined through testing that, even though I have no visually apparent varicose veins, I have vascular/vein issues impacting circulation in both legs. She said that restless legs are a common symptom of the problem (who knew?)! She had me start wearing compression stockings during the day. The result has all but stopped my restless legs. There are other procedures that can be done but this was a great start. I learned that restless legs can impact deep sleep from my Oura 2 Ring as it measures "restlessness" and that measure has dropped along with improvements in deep sleep.
Those two changes have, in the past 4 weeks, increased my deep sleep from 0-10 minutes / night to often over an hour and one time I actually had over two hours. Amazing!
I still have to do all of the other things religiously that are helping my sleep - like daily exercise, saunas and turning screens off 3-4 hours before bed, but this recent change for the better is very encouraging.