What Happens During Different Sleep Stages?

What Happens During Different Sleep Stages?

04.16_Restful SleepSleep is something that most of us do naturally—we are programmed to spend about one-third of our lives in a state of sleep. Optimal sleep will give you the opportunity to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for another day, and in order to get the most restful sleep, you should aim to spend time in each of the five sleep stages. At 2 Brothers Mattress we know that sleep is essential; here is an overview of what should be happening every night that you lay on one of our mattresses.

Benefits of Sleep

Spending time in each of the stages of sleep, with the majority of time in the most restful stages, will benefit your body in many ways, including controlling hormones and appetites, repairing muscles, improving memory and focus, and increasing our ability to enjoy life. For that reason it’s critical to get both REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. Most sleep cycles last between 90 and 110 minutes, and optimally we should experience multiple cycles each night.

Stage 1

This is the lightest sleep stage, and happens both when you are falling asleep. It is a non-REM portion of sleep where you are still somewhat aware of surroundings, and if awoken during this stage you may not even realize that you have been asleep. This is the ideal time to be awakened, and the time when your body will naturally wake up as you cycle through sleep stages each night (assuming you’re not using an alarm clock).

Stage 2

The second part of your non-REM sleep is the stage where you begin to disengage from surroundings, becoming less aware of noises and other distractions. This is the onset of deeper sleep stages, when the body drops and breathing and heart rate are stable.

Stage 3

Delta waves—slower brain waves—begin to appear during stage 3 sleep and the body will slow down considerably. There may still be a few rapid brain waves interspersed during this stage as you prepare for the deepest sleep.


Stage 4

When you are in the deepest non-REM sleep stage, it is difficult to be awakened and there is no muscle movement or eye activity. Breathing and heart rate slow, blood pressure drops, and muscles relax. If awakened during this phase you will likely be very groggy and require some time to become oriented to your surroundings. Deep sleep stages are also the time when children are most likely to experience night terrors or sleepwalking.

Stage 5/REM Sleep

The final stage of a sleep cycle is REM sleep, or rapid eye movement. During this stage heart rate increases and eyes move rapidly back and forth. This is also the time when we dream. Following this burst of brain activity you repeat the sleep stages, beginning with Stage 1.

In order to get the best sleep, most people need to have an optimal sleeping environment. Early sleep stages contain more deep sleep and less REM sleep, a trend that flips as you get closer to waking. It’s important to get through each cycle several times in a night, which is why having a comfortable mattress from 2 Brothers Mattress should be a top priority for everyone. When you’re tossing and turning on a bad mattress you are unable to reach deep, restorative sleep stages each night.

In order to have the most restful night of sleep, providing your body with the right hormone levels and energy levels throughout the day, having a comfortable mattress and a quality sleep environment is critical. Get through all five sleep stages every night with the right mattress from 2 Brothers Mattress.

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