Did you know that the quantity and quality of your sleep both matter? Sleep deprivation can have a major impact on many aspects of your  health. It can affect how you look, feel and go about your daily activities.

A recent  research published in the Sleep Medicine Journal showed that just one night of interrupted sleep can negatively affect your mood and make you feel more depressed, confused and tired.

Did you know that there are different stages of sleep and they matter?  Let’s take a look..

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Here are the 5 stages of sleep and why they matter

In human beings, the stages of sleep can be generally divided into the Non-Rapid Eye Movement (non-REM) sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. You go through four stages of non-REM sleep before you begin REM sleep.

Stage 1: Non-REM Stage 1

The non-REM stage 1 is one of the stages of sleep.  It is a form of light sleep. At this stage, you are getting ready to drift off, your body begins to feel a bit drowsy and you breathe more slowly. This stage only lasts for a short period of time and you can still be woken up without any difficulty.

sleep and why they matter_2

Stage 2: Non-REM Stage 2

The non-REM stage 2 is also one of the stages of sleep which you pass into from non-REM stage 1. At this stage, true sleep begins. Your heart rate and breathing slow down and you become less conscious of the outside world . This stage make up the largest part of your sleep.

Stage 3: Non-REM Stage 3

The non-REM stage 3 is also one of the stages of sleep. It is the deep sleep stage. At this stage, it will be very hard  for someone to wake you up from sleep, your eyes do not move and you have no muscle activity.

At the deep sleep stage , your body heals and renews itself. Your immune system and brain activity is also strengthened. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that deep sleep strengthens the brains ability to remember what it learnt during the day.

Stage 4: Non-REM Stage 4

The non-REM stage 4 is also one of the stages of sleep. Just like the non-REM stage 3, it is also the deep sleep stage. At this stage, your body heals and renews itself, your immune system is strengthened and much more. The deep sleep stage refreshes you and you feel energised the next morning.

Stage 5: REM Sleep

REM sleep is one of the stages of sleep. From the non-REM sleep stages, you finally enter the REM sleep stage.  It is a rather shallow stage of sleep. Your muscles are relaxed and become paralysed. You can have about 3 to 5 occurrences of REM sleep per night.

This is the stage where you have dreams.  The areas of your brain that handle your memories, emotions and sensations also become active at this stage.

In conclusion,  it is important to have the right quantity and quality of sleep so that you go through all the stages of sleep.  Just like a healthy diet and exercise, sleep is also important for your physical and mental health.

Also check out The fat-friendly sleep mistakes you should stop doing now!

References

Kahn M, Fridenson S, Lerer R, Bar-Haim Y, Sadeh A (2014) Effects of one night of induced night-wakings versus sleep restriction on sustained attention and mood: a pilot study. Sleep Medicine, 15: 825-832.

Tamminen J, Payne JD, Stickgold R, Wamsley EJ & Gaskell G (2010). Sleep Spindle Activity is Associated with the Integration of New Memories and Existing Knowledge. The Journal of Neuroscience 30 (43) 14356-14360

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