The Five Phases of Sleep

Written by on October 4, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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Sleep is now considered an important factor in feeling alert and energetic during the day. It also plays an important role in helping individuals create memories, and it is not just a set amount of time the body and brain shut down.

The body goes through five distinct stages of sleep, including transitional stage from being awake to lightly sleeping, the light sleep stage and the light to heavy sleeping stage. The sleeping stages also include the deep sleep stage and Rapid Eye Movement Stage or R.E.M. period. During normal sleeping hours, most of these stages are repeated throughout an eight-hour period with individuals experiencing increased periods of Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. All stages of sleep are differentiated by factors such as duration, types of brain waveforms and specific brain activities.

About one third of the US population experiences irregular sleep problems due to issues such as restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, intermittent sleep disorder and chronic sleep disorders. These sleep disorders lead to drowsiness during the day, and can cause a significant percentage of road accidents, crash injuries and deaths each year. Individuals can improve their Sleep Hygiene by following routine on a daily basis, including keeping the same sleep/wake schedule during both weekdays and weekends, avoiding nicotine and caffeine, removing distracted objects from the sleep environment and taking a soothing hot bath before bed.

Infographic courtesy of TastyPlacement, Inc.

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