Sleep & Health
Have you ever wondered what is happening while you sleep?
When you go to sleep each night, your body is actively working even though you physically are at rest. Sleepers, on average, pass through five stages that help you cycle between REM and non-REM sleep.
This is when you first close your eyes to go to sleep. During this time, it is very easy for you to wake up. Your muscle activity begins to slow down. Some people may experience sudden muscle contractions, known as hypnic jerks, with a sensation of falling. It normally lasts about five to 10 minutes.
At this point, you are in a light sleep. This stage begins about 15 to 30 minutes into your sleep. Your body temperature starts to drop, brain waves start to become slower, and your heart rate slows down. This is your body’s way of prepping for a deep sleep. If you decide to nap, you should wake up after this stage.
STAGE THREE & FOUR
You are now in a deep sleep. It is harder to wake up someone from this stage because your body is less response to outside stimulation. If a person is woken from this stage, they tend to feel disoriented for a few minutes. Your body begins to repair itself. It builds bone and muscle, strengthens the immune system, and regrows tissues.
STAGE FIVE: REM
REM is short for “rapid eye movement.” You normally enter this stage 90 minutes after you initially fall asleep. This is where dreaming occurs. It is the stage when your eyes move quickly in a variety of directions while sleep. Your brain waves mimic activity as if you were awake; however, the body does not move. A person’s most intense brain and dream activity happen during this stage of sleep.