Everything you need to know about your sleep cycle.
Have you ever randomly, consistently woken up at the same time during the day, every day and wondered why this happens? Well, the answer is simple really. Our routines of when we go to sleep and when we wake up, essentially help our brain to maintain our “internal clock”.
A few interesting facts about your sleep
While sleeping your brain is constantly working, some say that at certain times your brain is more active while you are sleeping then when you are awake. You mainly cycle between two forms of sleep – REM (rapid eye movement), sleep and non-REM sleep.
During a sleep cycle (which is an average of 90 minutes), the first part of the cycle you will have a non-REM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep. Dreams tend to occur during REM sleep.
What happens during non-REM sleep?
While sleeping, during non-REM sleep there are typically three stages. Each stage can last between five-fifteen minutes.
Your eyes are closed, however, it is still easy to wake up (also referred to as dozing off), this typically lasts between 5-10 minutes.
Your heart rate slows and your body temperature drops – you are now In light sleep while your body prepares for deep sleep.
This would be the deep stage of sleep, also the most difficult stage to be woken up in, if someone does manage to wake you up, you may be groggy and disorientated for a few minutes.
During the deeper stages of non-REM sleep, tissues are being repaired and regrown, bones are being developed and your immune system strengthened.
What happens during REM Sleep?
REM sleep is the last stage in your sleeping cycle. Starting at approximately 10 minutes in length. As your cycles repeat, however, the longer the REM sleep duration lasts. The longest being around an hour long. This period of sleep generally includes dreams due to the high activity of your brain.