All Women's Talk

What is Sleep

By Karen

Ever asked what is sleep? Did you know your brain is very active during sleep? Most people pass through 5 sleep phases including stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. We spend almost half of our total sleep time in stage 2 sleep, about 20 percent in REM sleep, and the remaining 30 percent in the other stages. Read more details here regarding what is sleep.

1 Stage 1

This is light sleep during which you drift in and out of sleep and awaken easily.

2 Stage 2

Once you enter stage 2 sleep, eye movement stops, your brain waves become slower and there are occasional bursts of rapid waves (sleep spindles).

3 Stages 3, 4, and REM

In stage 3, very slow brain waves appear with intermittent smaller and faster waves. By stage 4, the brain produces delta waves almost exclusively. It is very difficult to wake somebody during stages 3 and 4. Together they are the deep sleep phase. When we switch to REM sleep, our breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow. It is also when we dream.

Now that you know a little more about sleep, you may be wondering how you can get more sleep. Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation improve your sleep patterns by doing the following:

1 Stick to a Sleep Schedule Even on Weekends

2 Practice a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual, I.e. Listen to New Age Music

3 Avoid Daytime Naps

4 Exercise Daily

5 Design Your Sleep Space to Establish the Conditions You Need for Sleep

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