There are four different phases of sleep: the falling asleep phase, the light sleep phase, the deep sleep phase and the REM sleep phase. A cycle of these 4 sleep phases usually lasts between 90 and 110 minutes. So during the whole night we go through this sleep sequence about four to seven times. Each sleep phase has a specific function, so that the duration of the sleep phases also varies. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about the different stages of sleep.
All information about sleep phases, duration, type and what they are good for
The gliding over: the falling asleep phase
In the fall asleep phase, you transition from being awake to asleep. The sleep phase begins when you get comfortable in your bed and close your eyes. During this process, which takes about 10-15 minutes, your body produces more melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep. Your heartbeat slows down and your breathing becomes easier. Your muscles relax and your brain becomes less active. Your body is ready to go to sleep.
Fill up memory: The light sleep phase
In the light sleep phase, sleep is superficial and the body can still be easily awakened by external stimuli. Nevertheless, it is an important phase, not only as a preparation for deep sleep. In addition to the slowed heartbeat, blood pressure also drops and muscle tension decreases. The brain metabolism is also shut down. In this physiologically relaxed position, the experiences of the day are processed and the energy stores are replenished. A good light sleep phase ensures that we feel energetic and productive in the morning.
Pure regeneration: the deep sleep phase
During the deep sleep phase, the body enters a state of relaxation that is characterized by some physiological changes. The body experiences a decrease in body temperature and muscle tone decreases. The level of consciousness is now at its lowest and the sleeper now has minimal motor activity. Deep sleep is a very important phase of the sleep cycle as it is essential for rest and regeneration of the body and mind. It helps to reduce stress, recharge your batteries and strengthen muscles and joints. In this part of the night, more immunological processes take place and experiences are processed into memories.
Mental Health: The Dreaming Phase
During REM sleep, people dream the most and the closed eyes of the sleeper move very quickly, which gives this phase its name (rapid eye movement). While the body remains completely still, the brain is very active. The dream phase supports us humans in reducing stress and anxiety and maintaining our mental health. If we don't get enough REM sleep, problems such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression and other psychological problems can develop.
In which phase of sleep do you recover best?
After the explanations, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as THE sleep phase par excellence. Only through the interaction of the four sleep phases does the human body experience optimal relaxation. Each phase has its specific task and together they form an ingenious network for a comprehensive recovery and ensuring our performance.