Many of us know we have REM sleep (when dreams happen) and Non-REM sleep but did you know that there are actually 4 stages? Each play a specific, unique role in brain health! I’ll keep my explanations brief on each.
Stage 1: The transition between awake and sleep. The brain is still producing theta waves. If you were to be woken up during this time, you would likely say that you weren’t even asleep.
Stage 2: The brain begins to produce sleep spindles (brief burst of fast activity) and heart rate begins to slow. The spindles play an important role in memory consolidation!
Stage 3: This is actually where deep sleep occurs and our muscles relax as our breathing slows. The brain produces deep, slow waves known as delta waves. We need this stage to feel refreshed the next day.
Stage 4: REM sleep. The brain becomes active while the body immobilizes so we don’t act out our dreams! The brain is working on memory consolidation in this phase also. Our brain activity mimics our awake brain activity during this stage.
Sleep tip of the day: create a bedtime routine just like you had when you were a kid. The associations will help clue your brain in that you are getting ready for sleep.
Extra sleep tip: Limit electronic use 30 mins before bed. I know! But trust me, its truly the most beneficial.