When you finally get into bed after a long day and lay down on your comfy mattress and curl up with your blankets and pillows, you probably aren't giving much thought to the sleep cycles your body is about to go through. However, it is something interesting to think about. Our bodies are amazing and require us to go through the proper sleep stages in order to function efficiently.
There are four stages of sleep and there are two basic types of sleep that we go through: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep includes three of the four stages of sleep.
On average, it takes the normal individual to fall asleep within 10-20 minutes. Then, your body will move into its first stage of sleep.
The first stage is non-REM light sleep. This first non-REM light sleep is when your body changes from wakefulness to sleep. In this stage, which lasts only several minutes, your breathing, heartbeat and eye movement starts to slow. You will also be easy to wake at this stage.
After stage one, your body will still be in non-REM light sleep, but your heartbeat and breathing will slow even more. Your muscles will relax, your body temperature lowers and eye movements stop. You are less likely to be awakened in stage two.
Stage two lasts significantly longer than stage one. For most people, stage two accounts for approximately 40 to 60% of their sleep duration.
Stage three is non-REM deep sleep. During this sleep stage, your body takes time to heal itself. It regrows and repairs tissue, builds bone and muscle and strengthens the immune system. This is an essential part of the sleep cycle because along with healing your body, you also need this stage to feel awake and refreshed in the morning. Luckily, you are the hardest to wake during this stage. Even a loud thunderstorm, construction work or blaring train horn will most likely not wake you.
According to PubMed Central, deep sleep accounts for about 13 to 23% of your sleep.Since deep sleep is such a vital stage in the sleep cycle, here are three tips to promote it:
- De-stress through meditation, stretching or even making your bedroom a sanctuary through your furniture, decor and other aspects.
- Stick to a routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends.
- Remove bright lights and screens at least an hour before sleep. This one is harder to do than the rest, but it makes a huge difference by helping your body realize bedtime and be ready for its sleep cycle.
Stage four of the sleep cycle is REM sleep. A person normally has three to five cycles of REM throughout the night with the first occurring about 90 minutes after falling asleep.
During REM sleep is when most of your dreaming will occur. Your brain is more active, your eyelids are moving rapidly and your breathing increases and becomes more irregular. Your arm and leg muscles also become temporarily more relaxed or paralyzed so that there is less of a chance of harming oneself while dreaming.
After learning the basics of sleep cycles by reading this blog, you now know a little more about what your body goes through while you’re sleeping. Whether it be on a pillow-top, plush, firm or other type of mattress, sleep is vital to your body’s mental and physical health.
At Wholesale Mattress Center, we can help you find the best mattress for your sleep, your lifestyle and your budget. We also have a substantial collection of furniture for any living area of your home.
Stop by our showroom on 937 Opelika Road or contact us today at 334-821-0558 for help getting the best sleep possible on the mattress that is right for you!