Today I’m going to discuss the 5 stages of sleep and why each stage is so important. I’m not going to go into too much detail about what happens to your brainwaves and what you will see on your electroencephalograph (ECG) as I would rather tell you why each stage is so vital to your health. Once you understand the importance of each sleep stage, you may like to download my ebook or sign up for a workshop to learn which foods and activities could be contributing to bad sleep in some or all stages.
There are five stages of sleep. The first four being non rem (NREM) and the final and fifth stage being REM. The five stages represent one complete sleep cycle which lasts approximately ninety minutes, and the average person will have between four to five cycles per night.
Now I’m not saying that the first two stages of sleep aren’t important as they account for around forty to fifty percent of total sleep time, however they are the early phases where you can be easily aroused and in a very light stage sleep. This is the start of your sleep cycle and obviously it helps to be relaxed, but once again you can find out relaxation strategies in my e-book.
Stages three and four of sleep are where we experience deep (or delta) sleep and these two stages are the deepest level of NREM sleep. This is the time when growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland, in turn enabling your body to heal itself with metabolic and tissue regeneration. It’s absolutely vital that you make sure you have enough of these two stages.
REM sleep or stage five is the stage most well known for dreaming though you can dream in other stages as well. This is the stage you will have your most vivid dreams and it’s more than likely why when you get enough REM sleep you can think more quickly and creatively during the day and are able to organise your thoughts better . It is also during this stage that you can restore your nervous system, process information and store memories.
So you can see that in order to feel fully renewed and refreshed in the morning, you need enough of each stage of sleep to function well. If you’d like to learn more about how you can ensure you are sleeping efficiently throughout the night, why not register for one of my workshops.
If you are someone who finds it hard to wake up in the morning, just remember that it’s a lot easier to wake from stage 1 or 2 sleep, so you can actually trick your body into feeling more energised when you wake up by choosing to wake half an hour earlier than you normally would, based on the amount of hours that represent a full night sleep for you.