You go through various stages of sleep every night. One of them is REM sleep, the well-known dream sleep. The largest part, however, is non-REM sleep (NREM), the 'normal' sleep.
Fixed order of your Sleep phases These sleep phases do not just mix up. There is an extensive sequence. And this whole row, the practical sleep cycle, you go through four to six times a night. Each in his time.
Transitional phase between waking and sleeping The first sleep stage of NREM sleep is a transitional phase between the waking and sleeping state. This stadium only takes three to five minutes. The body temperature and the muscles relax.
Slow eye movements (Slow Eye Movements or SEM) can be seen at this stage. You know that chance when you are fighting your sleep. Your eyes then slowly turn away and you have trouble keeping them open.
In this phase, you can often also feel a shock, sometimes with the feeling that you are falling. This is a sleeping pit; a short black and white in the muscles of your arms or legs. That is why you are completely awake again. You will also wake up awake again in this phase of sounds.
Deeper sleep The second sleep stage is slightly deeper and lasts for the period of thirty to forty minutes. You sleep the most at this stage of sleep: up to 50 percent of the total sleeping time per night. It is the beginning of 'real' sleep. You do not wake up from any sound just like that at this stage.
Very deep sleep Stage three and four are released as a whole. In this phase, you are very relaxed and difficult to wake up. Your breathing is deep and your heartbeat is slow and regular.
This phase is very long. But in the following cycles, this phase takes a shorter time. Growth hormones are released, your body is recovering and revitalizing.
As you get older, these sleep phases become shorter. You will notice that sleeping does not work as refreshing as before.
REM sleep After stage four, the REM sleep stadium starts from dream sleep. The large muscles of your limbs are then paralyzed. If this were not the case, you could jump out of your bed to carry out your dreams.
You can see if someone is in REM sleep at the fast eye movements under the closed eyelids. The brain is fully active at this stage. Why the brain is so active, there are no tasks yet. But the suspicion is that it has to do with the processing of information.
As the night progresses, the periods of REM sleep are longer. In total, the dream sleep takes 20 to 25 percent of the sleep duration.
Different stages for different people. This is no surprise for you. But everyone sleeps differently. You might spend a large amount in the NREM stage but your brother might be gifted and stays for the longer time in the deep sleep. Looking at the human lifespan you can see how our sleep patterns change over time. For example, a baby will sleep very easily and also will sleep most of the day. An adult will have more trouble getting sleep, This because an adult will spend more time in the NREM stage. This will cause him/ her to wake up very easily. Looking at the teen all the hormones that are in the body will affect how their night will be going.
Side effects of poor sleep If you know your own sleep pattern you will be more aware of how to improve your own sleep pattern. When you end up night after night with poor sleep quality than you will know the following: • Grumpy • Confused • Tired ( all day) The next side effect is not known by the public. Poor sleep quality increases the risk of weight gain. It Boils down to this: When you do not get enough sleep you will get more stressed. And the (un)funny thing about the human body is that it tends to do things that increase your weight when under stress. A lot of hormones and other things are happening when under stress. So do yourself, your weight and mood a favor and get some rest :-D