As you sleep, you experience different stages of the sleep cycle. Most people are familiar with two different types of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM. However, it may be less common for people to know that non-REM sleep has four different stages that a person can slip in and out of throughout their rest. Sleep occurs in 4 to 5 different stages depending on the source that you look at. However, whether it be understanding the 5 stages of sleep or the 4 stages, it is no secret that understanding the sleep cycle can help ensure that you receive all the rest that you need. Sandy Springs’ most trusted mattress store, Fred’s Beds, is here to help you understand how to get the best night’s sleep possible.
Age is an important factor when considering how much sleep someone may need. While all bodies vary and function slightly differently, the general rule of thumb is at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
Stage W – Wake/Alert
Stage W is the transition between being awake and falling asleep. During this stage, an individual will start to become drowsy and may begin closing their eyes. Stage W can consist of getting comfortable and preparing your body to fall asleep. Having a comfortable, cool mattress to sleep on is beneficial in ensuring that you’re receiving enough rest and making it through your sleep cycles.
Stage N1 – Light Sleep
This is the lightest stage of sleep. During this stage, muscles begin to relax while breathing reaches a regulated rate. This stage only accounts for about 5% of the sleep schedule, as it typically lasts for 1 to 5 minutes.
Stage N2 – Deeper Sleep
This stage is often characterized by a drop in heart rate and body temperature. During this time, comfort and body temperature can play an important role in the perfect sleep. It is not uncommon for people during this stage to grind their teeth in their sleep, also known as sleep bruxism.
This stage lasts around 25 minutes in the first cycle and lengthens with each consecutive cycle. The deeper sleep cycle makes up about 45% of the total sleep stages.
Stage N3 – Deepest Non-REM Sleep
Stage 3 is often referred to as the stage of slow-wave sleep (SWS). This is considered the deepest stage of sleep. During this stage, the body repairs itself and regrows tissues, strengthens the immune system, and builds bone and muscle more quickly. This stage is crucial due to the amount of growth and healing that happens during it. The deepest Non-REM sleep stage lasts for about 25% of the sleep cycle.
Waking someone in this stage of sleep may be more difficult than at the other stages, and some people are even able to sleep through surprisingly loud noises and disturbances during this stage. If an individual is awoken during this stage, they will experience a transient phase consisting of mental fogginess. This fogginess can actually cause people to have moderately impaired mental performance for 30 minutes to an hour afterward.
Stage 4 – REM
REM is connected with dreaming (including nightmares) and is similar to daydreaming but in a sleep setting. Surprisingly, scientists have identified that “Other animals, including some birds and mammals, have been shown to experience REM sleep.” Another surprise to many is that this stage is not considered a restful sleep stage. When an EEG is conducted during this stage, it is rather similar to an awake brain’s activity. The skeletal muscles are atonic during this stage and motionless; however, the eyes and Diaphragmatic Breathing muscles remain active.
The REM stage tends to begin around 90 minutes after you fall asleep – the first time it occurs it typically only lasts for about 10 minutes. Yet, like stage 2, the time spent in REM will increase with each successive cycle.
Sleep is important in that it gives your body time to recuperate and repair after a day of activities. Even if you spend 6-8 hours at a desk all day, you are still draining your body of energy. Getting a good night’s rest will also help lower stress levels, improve creativity, and help maintain your immune system. REM sleep is important for supporting growth and development throughout the body, especially in children. Inducing a more restful sleep can be achieved in a number of ways, but one of the best possible ways to reach that point is by having a bed that fits your individual comfort needs.
Why not come in and let us help you get the best rest of your life? We here at Fred’s Beds offer expert service, huge savings, and top-notch products. Fred’s Beds serves the greater metro Atlanta area, from Cumming to Buford wherever you are, we’ve got you covered. We love seeing your faces and helping you with unique customer service. So, stop by our Cumming, GA, location, near Sandy Springs, as soon as possible to kickstart your new bed search!