As we sleep, our brains take a roller-coaster ride through four distinct stages. We are unaware of the changes that occur, but even as we snooze the brain and body are active. Here we take a look at the different stages of sleep and what is happening during each.
Stages of sleep
As we slumber each night, we cycle through these four stages about every 90 minutes. Each stage plays an important role in the sleep cycle and ensures we get a restful night’s sleep — something essential to our overall health.
Stage 1 – Think of this stage as “dozing.” It’s that light, partially awake sleep you might experience when watching TV in the evening. Your heartbeat and breathing slow down, muscles start to relax, and this stage generally lasts for only a few minutes.
Stage 2 – This stage is a slightly deeper sleep than stage 1 and lasts roughly 25 minutes at a time. As you cycle through each stage, you’ll spend most of your night in this phase of the sleep. Your heart rate and breathing slow even more, body temperature drops, and your brain starts producing brain wave features called spindles and K-complexes that indicate an increasing depth of sleep.
Stage 3 – The deepest of all sleep happens during this stage. Your heartbeat and breathing reach their slowest rate, your body is fully relaxed and delta brain waves, which signal a deep level of sleep, are present. Though your muscles may be relaxed, some of your other body systems are hard at work during this stage, repairing and growing tissue, regenerating cells and strengthening your immune system.
Stage 4 – This stage of sleep is characterized by rapid eye movement, so it is known as the REM stage. Breathing and heart rate actually increase during this phase of sleep, but your muscles are not able to move except for small twitches. In this stage, your brain is at its most active, as this is when we tend to dream.
How your mattress affects the sleep cycle
Having a mattress that suits your personal needs is vital to ensure you properly transition through each stage of sleep. Being woken up by body aches caused by an uncomfortable mattress can result in broken, unrestful sleep, which can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
For this reason we recommend making an appointment to visit one of our showrooms conveniently located in Moline, Illinois, and Bettendorf, Iowa. At L&W Bedding, our staff has over 30 years of experience in the mattress industry and our goal with every consultation is to educate our customers so they can make the right decision for their unique situation. We build every mattress we sell in-house, which allows us to offer top-quality, handcrafted mattresses that deliver a better night’s sleep for our customers. Our mattresses are flippable and guaranteed to last 15 to 20 years, something you won’t find at any big box mattress store today.