3 sleep facts that break down the key ideas behind sleep. If you’re looking to find out more about sleep, this article is the place to begin. Let’s get started!
Sleep facts #1: Sleep is good for your health
Despite the vulnerability associated with sleep, all animals need sleep in order to survive. Sleeping is an essential ingredient for the brain and the body. With the absence of noise and disturbances, the mind and body relax and have the freedom to carry out important physiological tasks: hormone regulation, memory consolidation, and cellular regeneration. Sleep is also the key moment for the body to repair and get rid of the toxins. Without sleep, the body weakens and may experience permanent physical or mental damage.
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Sleep facts #2: 4 sleep stages
Number 2 of our 3 sleep facts , sleep is organized in four stages, which are connected and occur at various moments during the night.
Light sleep (N1 stage)
Approx. 5% of the total time of sleep. It is the stage of falling asleep, marking the transition from awakening to sleep. The body and muscles relax gradually.
Light sleep (N2 stage)
Approx. 45% of the total time of sleep. It is the stage when breathing becomes slow and deep, body temperature decreases and the body begins to recover.
Together, N1 and N2 stages constitute light sleep, during which the organism can be easily woken up.
Deep sleep (N3 stage)
Approx. 25% of total sleep time. It is the stage when the body is the most deeply asleep, and it’s very hard to wake it up. It intervenes mainly at the beginning of the night.
Approx. 25% of the night. This is the stage of most dreams and nightmares, the ones who are the most vivid. The muscles of the body are almost in paralysis state, with the exception of the eyes — thereby calling it the Rapid Eye Movement (or REM) phase. REM sleep intervenes mainly at the end of the night.
Sleep facts #3: Deep sleep is the most restorative
There are many, sometimes contradictory, sleep facts, or rather theories about the role of each stage. In reality, scientists observe more that there is no exclusive role for each sleep stage: each one has its own important function.
However, it is considered that deep sleep is the most restorative stage of all. It is the one brain gives priority to after a long period of sleep deprivation. Deep sleep is actively involved in essential body processes, particularly toxin removal, memory consolidation, and hormonal regulation. You see, some sleep facts are good for you!