When you sleep, your body rests and restores its energy levels. A good night’s sleep is often the best way to help you cope with stress, solve problems, or recover from illness.
What Happens During Sleep?
Sleep is restorative, yet it is an active state that affects both your physical and mental well-being.
Sleep is prompted by natural cycles of activity in the brain and consists of two basic states: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, which consists of Stages 1 through 4.
During sleep, the body cycles between non-REM and REM sleep. Typically, people begin the sleep cycle with a period of non-REM sleep followed by a very short period of REM sleep. Dreams generally occur in the REM stage of sleep.
- Sleep is a state in which will affect both your physical and mental well being.
- When you actually sleep deeply your body restores its energy levels for the next day.
- STAGE 1 involves your body just “resting.” Your muscles will only relax slightly.
- STAGE 2 “N.R.E.M. (a.k.a deep sleep)” is when the growth or repair of muscle tissue begins. This is crucial to waking up feeling refreshed or with less pain. Sleep deprivation causes increased pain perception while awake.
- STAGE 3 “R.E.M. SLEEP” is often the best method to coping with stress and/or to recover from an injury or illness. This stage should take up approximately 25-30% of the night, in increments. Relaxation is crucial to getting into the final stages of the sleep cycle (REM.) After your muscles finally begin to relax during stages 3-4, blood is stimulated to all other muscle groups. Proper circulation such as this promotes cell renewal in your skin and also soft tissue repair in the muscles. Growth hormones are released like (cortisol) that will help you wake up and feel alert and ready. Other hormones that are released can increase memory and also help balance appetite (ghrelin & leptin.)
- Over the years the counter pressure per square inch on the body increases as the muscles stiffen. This causes us to “turn over” to reduce the pressure. Having a balance of comfort and support in a mattress and pillow is key to reducing movement at night and getting the nightly recharge that your body needs. Overall this final stage of the sleep cycle is crucial to a healthy and productive lifestyle.