Sleep Cycle Stages


In the book ‘Sleep Well’, the sleep cycle stages are discussed. Many studies have identified a number of phases that the brain and body go through overnight. Typically, 8 hours of sleep is good for a healthy adult. During this time, you may wake up once or twice for a few moments. It is unlikely you will remember this if you are sleeping well. Thanks to modern technology, the brain has been monitored during sleep to identify up to 5 different stages or types of activity. REM is one we can see the most as the eyes flicker from side to side under the closed eyelids. But there are also 4 stages of non-REM sleep. Some scientists group the deepest stages (stage 3 and 4) into one.

Sleep Cycle Stages

The first cycle of sleeping is sometimes the most difficult to get into if you have trouble falling asleep. There are five cycles in total, and there are 5 sleep cycle stages. The sleeper moves from being awake to Stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 and stage 4 in order during the first cycle. Stages 3 and 1 can be missed out in later stages. Once the deepest sleep has been reached, the sleeper may come back to stage 2 before briefly experiencing the REM sleep stage.

The Sleep Cycle Stages
Sleep Cycle 1

Below is a typical graph depicting a healthy night of sleep. As you can see there are 5 cycles during an 8 hour period. You can see how the sleeper moves through the sleep cycle stages as the night progresses. The amount of REM in cycle 1 is very short compared to the deep sleep of stages 3 and 4. Later in the night, the REM stage is very long and the deeper sleep is shorter. There may be one or two brief periods of waking that the sleeper is unlikely to remember.

Sleep stages
The stages of sleep as you slumber

At the end of the night, you will start to wake. This usually occurs after a 5th cycle of sleeping. Sometimes we only get through 4 cycles. If you have trouble sleeping well, chances are you’re not able to get through each of the stages of sleep in a healthy order.

Sleeping well looks a little like this
The 5th cycle of sleep

If you haven’t already read the book ‘Sleep Well: Reduce Insomnia And Increase Your Energy, Focus, Health, Fitness And Creativity By Sleeping Better Every Night’ then download your Kindle copy from the Amazon store today. You’ll find a lot more information that could help you to sleep better every night, starting tonight.