What Happens When You Sleep?
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When we sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed and alert for our daily activities. Sleep affects how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis, and can have a major impact on our overall quality of life.

Sleep architecture follows a pattern of alternating REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep throughout a typical night in a cycle that repeats itself about every 90 minutes.

What role does each state and stage of sleep play?

1. NON - REM (75% of night): As we begin to fall asleep, we enter NREM sleep, which is composed of stages 1-4:

N1: Between being awake and falling asleep, Light sleep

N2: Onset of sleep, Becoming disengaged from surroundings, Breathing and heart rate are regular, Body temperature drops (so sleeping in a cool room is helpful)

N3: Deepest and most restorative sleep, Blood pressure drops, Breathing becomes slower, Muscles are relaxed, Blood supply to muscles increases, Tissue growth and repair occurs
Energy is restored, Hormones are released, such as: Growth hormone, essential for growth and development, including muscle development

2. REM (25% of night): First occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep and recurs about every 90 minutes, getting longer later in the night.

Provides energy to brain and body, Supports daytime performance, Brain is active and dreams occur
Eyes dart back and forth, Body becomes immobile and relaxed, as muscles are turned off.

The one-third of our lives that we spend sleeping, far from being “unproductive,” plays a direct role in how full, energetic and successful the other two-thirds of our lives can be.

Below slideshow elaboratively shows what happens while we sleep.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-sleep-body-effects & https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-happens-when-you-sleep
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