The 5 Stages Of Sleep Cycle. Understanding the Sleep Cycle and why it is not just about how many hours we manage to sleep for. But why it is important that we reach the 5 Stages of Sleep Cycle to get full health benefits.
We know good quality rest and sleep is extremely important for our physical, mental and wellbeing but why. What happens during the 5 stages of sleep that helps us feel more rested and refreshed. And what is perhaps going wrong when we don’t feel as if we have had a good quality sleep or wake up feeling as if we have hardly slept?
So What Is The Sleep Cycle?
A Sleep Cycle is our body and our mind’s ability to smoothly go through 5 different stages of sleep, so many times within for example a night’s sleep. So on average, a person will go through those stages in approx 90 minutes but it can be anything from about 70 minutes – 120 minutes, For example, the first cycle of sleep tends to be a lot shorter than later cycles that go up to 120 minutes.
But there are many factors that can interfere with the sleep cycle, anxiety and stress is the most common alongside things like stimulants, alcohol, hormonal issues even things like pain and certain health conditions can compromise our ability to move through the normal stages of sleep.
The 5 Stages Of Sleep Cycle
Beginning of Sleep Cycle. A light state of sleep normally lasts 5-10 minutes, body goes from awake (alpha waves 8-13Hz to theta waves 4-7Hz ) to drowsy sleep (somnolence).
Sleep Spindles Body starts creating sleep spindles(11-16Hz) last about 10 – 60 minutes. Heart rate and temperature down.
Transitional Light to Deep Waves Body starts creating slow delta waves (-.5- 4Hz) and lasts approx 20 – 40 minutes.
NREM4 Delta Sleep
Delta Sleep (Less than 2Hz) Body is now in a deep sleep lasting approx 30 minutes. Stage of sleep of sleep walking, bed wetting
REM Rapid Eye Movement
We usually reach this stage approx 90 minutes after going to sleep.
Top Tips To For A Healthier Sleep Cycle
The Ability To Mentally Switch Off:
I cannot highlight enough how much the ability to mentally switch off and get out of your mind is important in getting the most out of your sleep. Mental stress and anxiety can keep you in an overstimulated and hyperarousal state. This will make it more difficult for you to move through the deeper stages of sleep that are rest, restore and repair the mind and body That is why if you don’t move through these 5 stages of sleep with ease, you are more likely to wake up feeling unrefreshed or as if you have never slept.
The Ability To Relax:
Now the ability to switch off mentally is one thing, but the ability to really relax, deeply relax is one step further. The more relaxed not just your mind is, but your body is, it is far easier to naturally move through the 5 stages of sleep. That is why Relaxation Therapy is becoming increasingly popular in helping clients manage insomnia, achieve a much deeper quality of sleep. Especially muscle relaxation techniques that help release old tension and even old stagnant energy that is in the physical body.
Unfortunately, there are so many stimulants in our food, our drink, medication, and alcohol. That we are so used to consuming we don’t even realise how it is impacting us physically and mentally. Common stimulants that many people have every single such as coffee, tea , sugar, sweeteners can be impacting your sleep can contribute to insomnia. The more you can start reducing stimulants especially after 3pm in the day this can definitely help improve the quality of the different styles of sleep what is known as the circadian cycle.
Healthy Bedtime Routine:
Get into a healthy bedtime routine, try when possible to go to bed the same time every night. Make sure you unplug all of your devices, take some time to switch off, and relax before bed. Try out our Golden Beach Meditation and Muscle Relaxation For Sleep.
Natural Sleep Aids:
Now if you have suffered from chronic insomnia or other sleep disorders you may want a little extra help from some natural sleep aids such as NYR Organics Night Time Remedies To Roll and NYR Organic Night Time Herbal Tea.