Are you looking to discover more about the different stages of sleep and when you dream? Of course, we all know that feeling of finally crawling into bed after a long day. Finally, your head hits the pillow, and you close your eyes, ready to drift into a deep sleep. But what exactly happens when we sleep?
Four Stages of Sleep
Sleep is divided into different stages, each with its characteristics. Keep reading to learn more about the various stages of sleep and when you dream during each one. There are four main stages of sleep: light sleep, deep sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and awake. Sleep is essential for many body functions, including the production of hormones and the growth of muscles.
Growth hormone levels increase during sleep and peak immediately after sleep onset stages. For example, in a previous study, growth hormone levels, measured every 30 s during sleep, increased significantly during slow-wave sleep (SWS) compared with stages one and two and the REM sleep stage. Finally, rest also places you in a fasted state, which helps you burn body fat.
1. Light Sleep –
Light sleep is the first stage of sleep. During this stage, your body temperature drops, and your heart rate slows down. You may experience brief moments of wakefulness during light sleep, but you will still feel sleepy.
2. Deep Sleep –
Deep sleep is the second stage of sleep. This is when your body starts to relax. Your breathing and heart rate slow down, and your muscles relax. As a result, it becomes difficult to wake up during deep sleep.
3. REM Sleep –
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is the third stage of sleep. This is when you have most of your dreams. The average person has several dreams throughout the night. It is possible to have 10 – 12 dreams in one night. Most people only remember their last 2 or 3 dreams if they remember them. During REM sleep, your eyes rush from side to side, and your brain activity increases. Your breathing and heart rate also increases during REM sleep.
4. Awake –
The fourth stage is awake. This is when you wake up and are no longer asleep.
You cycle through all four stages several times throughout the night, with REM periods becoming longer as the night goes on. Most people dream during REM periods, but you can also dream during other stages.
The Final Thoughts of the Four Stages of Sleep
Now that you know more about the different stages of sleep, you can better understand what happens when you doze off at night. So the next time you count sheep, remember that there are four distinct stages of slumber—and you may find yourself dreaming in one of them!
If you or someone you know is looking to improve your health, share this article on Facebook or Twitter so that others can learn more about self-care.