Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash
Science suggests that people should sleep on average of 7 – 9 hours a night – morning. Sleeping this amount of time amounts to one-third of your life; asleep. As part of having a balanced active lifestyle and diet, sleep is another important thing to keeping well and maintained. There are five main stages to sleep that will range from mild light sleep all the way to the deep sleep state. Sleep is important to every biological lifeform on earth but what does it mean to get the right sleep?
Understanding the cycles of great sleep helps identify where you might be losing vital parts of your natural bodily function.
The Cycle Of Sleep
Usually, the stages of sleep are broken into two sections, stage 1 and 2 are when light sleep occurs, then transitioning into a deeper sleep which is stages 4 and 5.
During this first stage, you drift from being awake to being asleep. The brain will start transitioning into the frequency of Theta which allows a person to calm themselves. This is a light, NREM sleep that doesn’t last very long. You may start to relax and lightly dream. Occasionally people may also twitch or jump as you transition into the second stage.
Stage 2 of the cycle is still a form of light sleep, but you will be still drifting in and out, and physically, with the body, aligning into more of a routine. Your breathing and heartbeat slow down and your muscles relax. Many people are unsuccessful in getting into this stage early on in the night because they aren’t able to stay comfortable. Having problems getting past light sleep can be down to many things surrounding sleep apnea.
Breathing problems are another recurring factor for why some people fail to fall into a deep sleep and require assistance from a breathing machine. CPAP nasal masks fit over the mouth of the person suffering from broken sleep from breathing problems and it allows them to breath clear and then falls into a peaceful deep sleep.
Sometimes we go about our days not realizing the tension certain parts of our body endures and stores. This could be down to numerous factors. If you notice your jaw or stomach tensed, take a few deep breaths and quick stretch and then retry. Your body temperature will slightly decrease and your brain waves become less active to respond to the environment.
Stages 3 and 4
In stage 3, you will enter deep sleep, and stage 4 is the deepest sleep stage. During deep sleep, your respiration, blood pressure, body temperature and brain waves reach their optimal levels for deep sleep to occur.
Stage 4 is typically known as the ‘healing stage’. This is when tissue growth and repair take place within the body. Depending on nutrition intake, important hormones and substances are released to do their jobs, and cellular energy is restored.
REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)
Your first REM cycle of the night begins about 90 minutes after you fall asleep and recurs every 90 minutes. The eyes will move around quickly behind your eyelids and your brainwaves look similar to those of someone who is awake and in an alert state. Your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure rise to near-waking levels because of the level of thought the brain is in while processing the information incredibly fast. This is usually down to REM sleep often being referred to as stage 5; when you are most likely to dream.
Get the Right Sleep
These are what it means to have a successful nights sleep. Some people are natural born sleepers, others are overthinkers and need more time to unwind. However you sleep, getting the right sleep is so important. What helps you to get the best nights sleep? Let us know in the comments below. Can you tell when you’ve gotten the right sleep for you?