People often ask questions concerning how our sleep went the night before. When you wake up in the morning, feeling refreshed can give you a very satisfactory answer. However, if we wake up feeling tired or depressed, it may be that we have not yet entered deep sleep or even the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage.
It was not until 1950 that people discovered a lot of knowledge about sleep and was previously thought to be a complex and mysterious process that our body experiences. The invention of the electroencephalograph allowed scientists to study sleep like never before.
What are the Sleep stages?
As sleep is still a mystery, but researchers have determined that if people rest during the night, they will experience different sleep stages. You may not know that you have many different sleep stages during the night, and you circle between them many times during your sleep. Here are the various stages and explanation of what happens in each stage:
Stage 1 is essentially a ” dozing off ” phase, usually lasting 1-5 minutes. During this sleep, the body and brain’s activities start to slow down after a short period of exercise (cramps), but the body is not entirely relaxed. It is easy to wake someone up during this stage, but if you are not disturbed, you can quickly move to stage 2.
The second stage usually follows the first stage and represents the deepest sleep. In the second stage of sleep, the sleeping person does not wake up quickly.
Stage 3 and 4
Sleep stages 3 and 4 are indeed very similar, with one stage being deeper than the other. After studying the types of brain wave activity people experience during these sleep phases, sometimes referred to as triangular sleep, the body fell asleep completely. It is challenging to try to wake someone up during these two rest periods.
The rapid eye movement phase occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep, which is the main phase of “dreaming” sleep. REM sleep initially lasts about 10 minutes and increases with each REM cycle. The final REM sleep cycle usually lasts about 60 minutes.
When you fall asleep at night, you go through all these sleep stages several times approximately every 90 minutes.
Health Benefits of Better Sleep
Sleep is often overlooked or regarded as an essential part of a healthy life. People are increasingly aware of the need for healthy eating and regular exercise, but not enough people understand the value of sleep as part of this mix.
Sleep helps reduce stress
If your body is not getting enough sleep, it responds to high levels of stress hormones. It is a natural result of today’s busy lifestyle. Regular deep sleep can help prevent this.
Reduce the risk of heart disease
A risk factor for heart disease is high blood pressure. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting enough rest time each night regulates the body’s blood pressure. It can reduce the likelihood of breathing-related illnesses (such as apnea) and improve overall heart health.
Sleep can help you maintain your weight
Unfortunately, sleep does not directly reduce weight, but it can help control sleep by regulating hormones that affect appetite and reducing thirst from high-calorie foods.
Sleep helps to repair, regenerate, and restore the body. The immune system is no exception. Studies have revealed that improved sleep quality can help the body fight infections.
By understanding the different stages of sleep, you can make the most out of rest. You can change your lifestyle, habits, and even the surrounding environment. In this way, you can get the most benefit from these stages, and in return, you will be healthier and happier.