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4 Stages Of Sleep And How They Help Modern Professionals

Everyone loves a good night’s sleep, but do you have any idea what your mind and body goes through as you drift into sleep? We all go through 4 stages of sleep every night, and here is a breakdown of those stages.

 

Before we go into the various stages, these stages all occur throughout a sleep cycle, which takes place four to six times throughout the night. Each sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes, and consists the four stages. 

Stage 1 of Sleep

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Stage 1 is essentially “dozing off,” and it often lasts one to five minutes. Though the body and brain processes begin to reduce with periods of brief movements like twitching, the body has not totally relaxed. In this stage, there are slight changes in brain activity linked with falling asleep.

 

This stage occurs when you get into bed and try to, and then start to, fall asleep. The optimal thing to do is to ensure total darkness in your room, a comfortable temperature, and the lack of distractions such as your mobile phone. This ensures that the body goes into a state of rest in the most natural way possible.

Stage 2 of Sleep

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A dip in temperature, relaxed muscles, and reduced breathing and heart rates are all signs that the body is entering a more subdued condition. At the same time, brain waves change and eye movement comes to a halt. Stage 2 sleep, also known as light sleep, can last anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes for the first sleep cycle, and gets longer over the night.

 

Light sleep is when one’s senses may still respond to the surroundings, and once again, it is best to minimize disturbances to ensure a good quality of sleep.

 

Stage 3 of Sleep

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When someone is in Stage 3 sleep, commonly known as deep sleep, it is more difficult to wake them up. Muscle tone, pulse, and respiratory rate drop in stage 3 sleep as the body relaxes even more.

 

During the first half of the night, people spend the most time in deep slumber. Stage 3 usually lasts 20-40 minutes during the early stages of sleep. As the individual sleeps longer, these stages get shorter, and more time is spent in rapid eye movement (REM), or Stage 4.

 

While deep sleep might mean difficulty to get up, it does not mean that one can be subject to external stimulation during this time. In fact, deep sleep is when the body repairs tissues and allows cell regeneration. It also strengthens the immune system.

 

Stage 4 of Sleep

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Scientifically, Stage 4 sleep is known as a stage called rapid eye movement (REM). During REM, brain activity increases to levels like those that are experienced when the body is awake. At the same time, the body goes into atonia, which is a temporary muscle paralysis (except the eyes and the breathing muscles).

 

REM sleep is thought to be important for cognitive functions such as memory, learning, and creativity. The considerable increase in brain activity during REM sleep is responsible for the most vivid dreams. Dreams can happen at any stage of sleep, but REM dreams are more likely to happen and much more powerful.

 

Why Is Sleep So Important To Modern Professionals

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The body repairs muscles, grows bones, manages hormones, and sorts memories when we sleep. Healthy sleep also assists the body’s wellness and the ability to prevent illnesses. The brain cannot function properly if it does not get enough sleep. This can make it difficult to concentrate, think clearly, or remember things.

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