We’ve all experienced the problem of not sleeping well. It leaves you feeling irritable, sad, and exhausted. Not only that but sleep deprivation can make you feel hungrier than usual during the day too because of the effect it has on your hormones. In addition to these short term effects, chronic bad sleep can cause high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and worsen any existing mental health issues. Our bodies need sleep as it’s a chance to repair, transfer memories into long term memory storage, synthesize hormones, and grow and repair muscles. Now that you know how important it is to sleep soundly every night, let’s look at sleep cycle stages to help you get more z’s.
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What are the Sleep Cycle Stages?
It’s usually not as simple as drifting off to sleep soundly and then waking up again in the morning. There are actually different kinds and stages of sleep that have various functions on the body and brain. That explains how you can go to sleep some nights and wake up still feeling tired.
Light sleep is one of the sleep cycle stages. It accounts for the majority of sleep gained in the night and is responsible for processing memories and emotions. It’s here that the metabolism regulates too.
The next of the sleep cycle stages is deep sleep. Most of the deep sleep we get occurs early on in the night. When you sleep soundly in this sleep stage, your body secretes growth hormone to help rebuild your body’s cells and strengthen the immune system. You don’t dream during this stage; its main focus is on the body.
On the flip side, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is very much about the brain. It’s at this stage that your brain is very active, and you begin to dream. The body is paralyzed during this sleep stage to essentially stop you from “acting out” your dreams.
You usually get longer periods of REM sleep later in the night close to the morning, which explains why you’re more likely to experience bad dreams the closer you are to waking up for the day. Fitness trackers are a great way to find out exactly how much of each of the sleep cycle stages you get night after night. Since your heart rate changes during each stage, it’s easy for fitness trackers to determine and present the information to you in easy-to-read graphs.
Want to Sleep Soundly? Increase Comfort
A large part of our day (and life in general) is laying down to sleep. So, if you’re laying in an uncomfortable position on an unsuitable surface, it can cause your body some issues, including pain to the:
Therefore, it’s essential to spend time choosing a good mattress for you. Experts recommend replacing a mattress every 7-10 years as after that they can wear out. At that point they probably won’t provide proper support for your body, which can mean waking up with aches and pains the next morning. The key is finding a quality mattress like Nectar that’s firm enough to support your body but not so firm it causes paint to pressure points.
Enjoy Deep Sleep – Get the Rest You Need
Your duvet and pillows can also be a reason why you’re not sleeping well. Both of these things have dust mites, and set off allergies and respiratory problems at night. If you haven’t replaced them in a while, throw them away and buy good anti-allergenic ones. Soft sheets will finish everything off and give you the ultimate in comfort to help you sleep soundly.
Choose good quality sheets with a high thread count that feels soft to the touch. Blends including materials like polyester won’t be as breathable as cotton and could make you sweat in the night. Finally, what you’re wearing to bed can make all the difference too. Soft, comfortable cotton or bamboo pajamas are a good choice. They’re cozy, breathable, and keep you warm in wintertime as well as cool in the summer.
Schedule Z’s to Sleep Soundly
Lastly, sticking to a good sleep schedule is one of the best things for your body and mind. This involves going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. That’s regardless of whether it’s the weekend or not.
Combine a commitment to maintaining that sleep schedule with your new knowledge of sleep cycle stages to help you to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. Then wake up feeling refreshed as you get out of bed in the morning, feeling like you’ve had enough Z’s.