Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Stage 1 
Stage 1 is the transition between waking and sleeping. It is a light sleep where a person may drift in and out of sleep and be awakened easily. 

The eyes are closed and muscles activity has slowed down. Many people will experience sudden muscle contractions during stage 1 which may be accompanied by the sensation that they are falling.

Stage 2
This stage is a light period of sleep where eye movement stops and brain waves slow down with only occasional bursts of rapid brain waves. 

Stage 2 is considered the baseline of sleep and begins the 90-100 minute sleep cycles. At this point the body prepares to enter into a deep sleep.

Stage 3 and 4
During stages 3 and 4 the brain waves slow down extremely and include smaller and faster waves. These are deep sleep stages with 4 being the deepest, and it is hard to wake someone up during this phase. 

These stages are also known as Delta sleep and is the most restorative. It is during the delta sleep period that most children will experience bedwetting, sleepwalking or night terrors. If someone is aroused from sleep during stage 3 or 4 they may feel disoriented for a few minutes. While in these deep sleep stages there is no eye movement or muscle activity.

Stage 5 or REM
During the REM period a person's breathing and heart rate quicken. The eyes jerk rapidly as well and we experience a temporary paralysis. 

Brain waves increase, similar to those experienced while awake and blood pressure also rises. It is during this REM stage that most dreams will tend to occur and are usually more vivid. If someone is awakened during this period they will have a good chance at remembering their dreams.

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