The science of sleep continues to evolve. In the past, scientists believed that sleep was a time when the body and brain shut down to rest and recover. In contrast recent research shows that our minds are highly active while we sleep.
Hormones levels increase during sleep which are shown to aid in cell repair, growth, and digestion. Processes that increase memory and learning also take place in the brain throughout sleep.
During sleep your brain repeatedly cycles through 4 different stages of sleep in a specific sequence. REM stages of sleep involve Rapid Eye Movements and the Non- REM stages do not. You will move back and forth between various stages of REM and Non-REM sleep
Non-REM sleep stages
N1- The transitional stage between awake and sleep. This stage is very light sleep and generally lasts less than 15 minutes. Breathing, heart rate, muscles and eye movement all slow. Your temperature wants to drop in this early stage of sleep.
TIP: Phase Change Material like Tempurpedic Breeze, Sealy Chill, or Bedgear Ver-tex Mattress Protectors can help drop your temperature during early N1 stages of sleep to help you get to sleep faster.
N2- is the next period of sleep. This period generally lasts less than 30 minutes. Your heart rate slows further, brain activity slows, and muscles further relax. Over half of your sleep every night is spent in stage N2.
N3- sleep allows the body to feel rested. This sleep is also called Delta sleep because Delta waves are a type of slow brain wave activity that can be seen on EEG readings during deep N3 sleep. Waking up from this stage is more difficult. Delta wave sleep occurs for longer durations in younger children. As we age our time in N3 sleep decreases.
After you sleep through the first 3 stages of Non-REM sleep you will cycle into and back out of the 4th and final deep sleep stage. REM sleep. During REM sleep your eyes twitch and most intense dreams occur. Your limbs become immobile, possibly to prevent movement while dreaming. Brain activity increases to levels that may be greater than when fully awake.
Every stage of sleep is important. The key to feeling rested when you wake up is the quality of your sleep in each of these stages. When your mattress keeps you awake tossing and turning or has you feeling sore in the morning you aren’t getting the deep restoring N3 and REM sleep you need, because your body is interrupted during earlier stages of sleep to subconsciously address your discomfort with your mattress.
If you are constantly tossing and turning and waking up (even after 8 hours of sleep) feeling tired. It could be that you are not getting the quality REM sleep that you need. Come see one our of sleep specialists to be properly fitted for a mattress.
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