Have you ever questioned yourself what transpires after you lie down on your comfortable bed, close your eyes, and go to sleep every night? In the actual fact, there are lots of things that you still don’t know regarding what happens to you when you are sleeping. For sure, most of us have an idea of how the body cycles over various stages of sleep and more importantly, how such sleep cycles affect each one of us.
Nevertheless, if you want to know more how a sleep cycle works and the whole thing that comes with that the keep on reading.
Sleep Cycle: What Exactly It Is?
A sleep cycle is actually the progression over the different stages of NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep before starting the progression for the second time with a non-rapid eye movement sleep.
Usually, an individual would start his/her sleep cycle every 1.5 hours to 2 hours resulting in 4 to 5 cycles for every hour spent sleeping or sleep time.
How Does It Work?
Perceive your mind is quietly floating over the light. And as you fly by, a soft shimmer is covering the clouds. You are asleep peacefully and deeply. Absolutely not that far ‘til the electroencephalogram or EEG machine came into existence in 1929. In the actual fact, many sleep professionals believed that if a person fell asleep his/her mind and body-powered down at night until he/she woke up in the morning.
Though we all know that is not the case. As a matter of fact, some stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep can display more brain more activity compared when you are awake. Having that said, typically sleep cycles are divided into two various stages: REM and NREM.
During the REM stage, you enter a different kind of sleep and this is when your dreams come into play. Whereas in NREM stage, your body repairs as well as regenerate the whole thing from muscle to bone and tissues.
On the other hand, your body runs over three distinct stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep and a stage of rapid eye movement before cycling over each of the four stages another time.
Merely, every time you finish one cycle your sleep will become deeper while your brain waves become more relaxed.
Different Stages of Sleep
First Stage: NREM #1
During this phase, you can be woken up with ease as it’s considered the lightest stage. And during this stage experiencing muscle jerks and twitches is not a new thing because these are the outcomes of brain stimulation.
Second Stage: NREM #2
In this stage, your heart rate starts to slow down and your temperature drops in hope of deep sleep.
Third Stage: NREM #3
During this stage, the brain waves will start to slow down and you’ll enter the deepest sleep stage. As time goes by, you’ll all to a deeper sleep progressively. What’s more, waking up in this stage is extremely difficult.
Fourth Stage: REM
Often, REM is thought to be an extremely deep state of slumber. However, it is the most active and your dreams will also kick in during the last stage,
While you’re in REM sleep, actually, your body is paralyzed. Furthermore, it’s also where your brain consolidates memory. You can think of it as a short term memory from the previous days of your life and storing them to a big mental cupboard labeled with “long-term memory”.
Nevertheless, every REM cycle usually lasts for five minutes, but it gets a bit longer as you sleep. Thus, you spend about 25% of your sleep at this stage.
Hopefully, this guide has answered some of your questions regarding sleep cycles.