Uncomplicating the Human Sleep Cycle
Contrary to popular belief, the human sleep cycle is much more complex than simply lying in a bed and closing your eyes for 8 hours each night. There's a lot more going on in your body and brain than most people are aware of. But it's not as complicated or scary to understand as you might think. Below, we'll break down the anatomy of the human sleep cycle. If you're having trouble trying to relax before bed, then understanding the process may shed some light and help you figure out how to solve the problem.
The Many Different Types of Sleep
For most people, Consciousness only falls into one of two categories: asleep, and not asleep. But the truth is that there are several different types of "asleep" that one can be in. In a healthy sleep cycle, you experience all of them several times in a single night. But if your sleep cycle is somehow hindered or disturbed, you may not get enough of certain types of sleep. This helps explain why, even after a full night's rest, someone may wake up feeling groggy and lethargic.
In total, there are five stages of unconsciousness that the body slips into on a nightly basis. The first four stages are referred to as non-REM sleep. The fifth and final stage, as you may have guessed by now, is REM sleep. All of these stages are important if you want to make sure you don't develop symptoms of sleep deprivation. And if you don't spend enough time in each respective sleep stage, then you won't get all of the benefits that a good night sleep usually provides.
Stage 1: This is the first and also the lightest stage that your body transitions into as you fall asleep. Think of it as sort of a fuzzy state between consciousness and unconsciousness. Your sleep is so light and shallow in this stage that it is easy to be woken up by external disturbances. Some people may also accidentally wake themselves up by snoring or mumbling in their sleep.
Stage 2: In this stage, all eye movement stops, accompanied by a slower rhythm of your brain waves. Your heart rate will also slow down, and your body temperature will lower by a few degrees. This helps prepare you for the deeper stages of sleep.
Stage 3: When your brain transitions into the slowest brain wave pattern - commonly known as delta waves - This is the hallmark of the deepest and most restorative stages of sleep. But this stage is not always pleasant. During stage 3, people are more likely to wet the bed, talk in their sleep, or even sleepwalk. Night terrors are also common.
Stage 4: This is the absolute deepest stage of non-REM sleep that the human body can sink into at night. When you reach stage 4, your brain waves are locked into the strongest delta wave pattern. Suddenly waking up from stage 4 sleep often results in confusion and disorientation. You may also experience what is known as " sleep paralysis", which is the temporary inability to physically move your body immediately after waking up. In ancient times, people blamed sleep paralysis on demons and monsters.
Stage 5: This stage is more commonly referred to as REM sleep than it is with a number. This is because of how radically different it is from the other four stages. The moniker of this stage is an acronym for "rapid eye movement", which is frequent and noticeable throughout. There's an intense level of measurable brain activity during REM sleep, and scientists are convinced that REM sleep is the stage of sleep where we dream. The deepest stages of sleep, REM sleep included, are when the human body physically restores itself - sort of like a nightly spring cleaning. This restoration is responsible for being healthy, maintaining a youthful physical appearance, good cognitive function, and high energy levels during the day.
How to Experience All 5 Stages of Sleep
There are many things you can do to spend more time in all five sleep stages at night, including getting more exercise, eating a healthy diet, and restricting your caffeine intake to the morning hours. But if you're still having trouble, you might want to think about investing in a natural herbal sleep aid. We suggest taking a look at Avinol PM. It's one of the most effective and highly recommended sleep supplements that you can get without a prescription.