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UNDERSTANDING THE STAGES OF SLEEP
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UNDERSTANDING THE STAGES OF SLEEP

When you fall asleep, the body goes through different stages of sleep, successive cycles lasting about 90 minutes. Each phase has an important role to play in our balance and understanding them well also helps us to sleep better.

Step 1: falling asleep

The brain begins to release melatonin, the sleep hormone. This is secreted when it is dark. It informs the brain that it is the right time to sleep. At this stage, you may feel as if you are falling into a void.

 

Step 2: light sleep

Our muscles relax, our heart rate slows down, blood pressure drops and the body's core temperature drops by 1°C.  A noise or light can interfere with this sleep phase which represents 50% of our total sleep time.

 

Step 3: deep sleep

Our brain activity is reduced to a minimum. This is when our body recovers most accumulated physical fatigue. (We secrete somatropin, a hormone essential for development, regenerating damaged cells, regulating our sense of fullness, etc.)

 

Step 4: paradoxical sleep

This stage is called "paradoxical" because we simultaneously show signs of deep sleep and signs of awakening.

This is the most active phase of sleep where brain activity is very high while our body is in a state of paralysis with its muscles in slow motion. During this paradoxical sleep stage, we dream and store our memories. 

 

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