What Are The Different Phases Of A Typical Sleep Cycle?

What Are The Different Phases Of A Typical Sleep Cycle?

When you fall asleep, as far as you’re concerned you close your eyes and then wake up again some hours later. But for your brain, this is the time when it’s most active, acting essentially as a giant filing cabinet sorting out many different files and folders within the mind. 

In total, there are four stages of sleep. Stages 1-3 are known as NREM (non-rapid eye movement) which means dreamless sleep. About 80% of sleep is classed as NREM.

Stage 4 is REM (rapid eye movement). The average person has between 3-5 REM stages per night, though will not always remember the contents of their dreams.

Stage 1: 1-5 minutes

During the initial stage of sleeping, the brain is slowly drifting in and out of sleep. You may be aware that you are not fully asleep yet, but you are at the point where you could fall into a deeper sleep shortly if you continue to relax. 

Your brain starts to slow down its thought processes, as most people recollect events that have happened throughout the day before they fall asleep. Such thoughts will fade into a subtle blur. Your body also begins to relax, and your muscles may also twitch. 

Stage 2: 10-60 minutes

Your brain is now fully asleep, and heading towards the deepest stage of sleep but is not quite there yet. As it prepares, your body temperature drops, your heart rate begins to slow, and the brain starts to produce sleep spindles. 

An uncomfortable sleeping environment may prevent you from continuing onto the next stage of sleep, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night. For example, it is recommended to keep your sleeping environment at an ambient temperature to accommodate the fluctuations in body temperature you’ll experience throughout the different stages of sleep.

Stage 3: 20-40 minutes

Stage 3 is when the deepest stage of sleep occurs. Your body performs a range of important tasks during this time, which is why if stage 3 is disrupted, you may feel sluggish the next day.

During stage 3, it is difficult to wake the person out of their slumber. The heartbeat and temperature fall to their lowest rate. The repair and growth of new tissues occur, and the immune system strengthens. 

Stage 4: 10-60 minutes

Stage 4 is the only stage of sleep that involves REM. During which time, the brain activity increases and the body experiences temporary paralysis known as atonia. The reason atonia occurs is it’s the body’s way of protecting itself should you try and act out anything you are dreaming. 

This final stage of sleep is essential to your overall cognitive function. Although it’s known as stage 4, REM sleep can occur as little as 90 minutes after falling asleep. During the night, the REM stages will get longer. 

How To Feel More Awake

Undoubtedly, getting a good night’s sleep (at least 7 hours for adults aged between 18-60) is the best way to not only feel more awake but promote your mental and physical health as a whole.

But due to the demands of modern life, we can often find ourselves running on empty even when we do the right things such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and visiting our doctor for a checkup regularly. 

Supplementation may prove effective in helping to overcome your tiredness, especially when there is no underlying medical condition.

Optml is a two-step supplement that minimises fatigue, increases energy, lowers stress, improves brain function and helps give you a better sleep. 

Our supplement features key nutrients such as Vitamin C, B Vitamins and Iron. All of which can help replenish your system, keeping your energy levels at a more optimal level. In combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, Optml can give you a much needed boost to help you combat the demands of your everyday life.