The moment of sleep is fundamental in order to live a healthy life, however, in order to be able to count on true well-being, it is necessary that the sleep is quality and therefore truly restful. Not everyone knows the quality of their sleep, but it is good to stop and understand what happens during rest and evaluate any corrections.
Many things happen during sleep that we don't notice: dreams, movements, moments of light sleep and moments of more intense sleep. In essence, it can be said that our sleep is divided into 5 phases, which alternate and recur during the night and it is precisely these phases that are responsible for a more or less restful sleep.
Sleep stages. Which ones are they?
There are 5 sleep phases and they are important to recognize, so as to identify the type of our sleep and any deficiencies or shortcomings; the first phase begins the moment you go to bed and start to relax. Here's how the 5 stages of sleep differ.
- Phase 1: falling asleep. The moment you go to bed, you are ready to move from wakefulness to sleep: the muscles begin to relax and the heart rate slows down, but brain activity also decreases and body temperature lowers; it is all necessary to accompany us towards sleep. This is a phase of variable duration: it could be said that falling asleep tends to take 10 minutes, but this time is not sufficient for all individuals. There is no need to worry if you have more difficulty falling asleep, as it is all a physiological issue. It is during this first phase that you may feel like you are falling into the void, due to the muscle contractions that occur just before falling asleep.
- Stage 2: light sleep. Immediately after falling asleep, the moment of light sleep occurs: the muscles continue to relax and the heartbeat slows down more and more, bringing the individual into that phase of drowsiness which precedes the moment of deep sleep.
- Stage 3: deep sleep. The third and fourth phases are those of deep sleep. Phase 3 begins when you are asleep and eye and brain activities are absent. It is at this time that the body is truly relaxed. The duration of this deep sleep is approximately 10 minutes.
- Stage 4: Effective deep sleep. With phase 4 we enter the most intense relaxation phase in which the body temperature lowers further and the muscles relax completely. It is the heaviest sleep phase and is also the one in which the eyes begin to move irregularly under the eyelids. The actual deep sleep phase is the one that prepares the mind and body for the famous REM phase.
- Stage 5: REM sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is also called "Paradoxical Sleep" and is the moment in which the eyes move rapidly under the eyelids, but the muscles stop completely: the brain becomes active again and is the moment of sleep in which, if awakened, current dreams are better remembered.
Sleep cycles. How long do they last and how do they work
Sleep is made up of 5 phases, however it is important to underline that during the night these 5 phases are repeated several times: this repetition identifies the different sleep cycles, which last approximately 90 minutes each.
Although it may apparently seem that nothing is happening during sleep, the truth is that sleep is made up of different activities, which are fundamental for effective rest and consequently for everyone's health.
Very often, when we talk about sleep, we tend to mention only the fifth phase, i.e. the REM phase, but it is the entire cycle that must be taken into consideration to define the quality of sleep of each individual in its entirety.
Why is sleep so important?
Being able to count on truly restful sleep is essential for optimal well-being and health that concerns both the body and the mind. But how do you get adequate rest?
Of course, there are various aspects that determine the quality of sleep, but a fundamental role is certainly played by the bed system. If the entire bed system is valid, the rest will be of higher quality. It is therefore not only the mattress that influences the moment of sleep, but also every "accessory" that revolves around it: slats, bases, cushions, toppers, etc. In short, everything should be selected with the right attention, in order to achieve perfect sleep.
Why do we sleep badly?
Sleep plays an extremely important role in a person's well-being. Sleeping poorly, day after day, risks affecting your health.
There are many incorrect habits that affect sleeping well: these are behaviors that concern an unhealthy lifestyle.
Here's what affects the quality of your sleep
Drinking too much coffee
Drinking too much alcohol
Eating too much and abusing unhealthy food
Lead a sedentary lifestyle
Going to bed too late and always at different times
Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed or on a mattress not suited to your needs
By trying to work on these aspects you could quickly see the first positive results on sleep.