What is sleep?

Sleep is really important for our bodies and minds. It is a necessary and reversible state of reduced activity that happens when we rest. It helps us feel better physically and mentally by helping us remember things better, control our emotions and heal our bodies. Every living thing with many cells, like animals, experiences sleep, and it is very important for our overall health.


What are the benefits of sleep?

Getting enough sleep has many benefits:

  1. Brain wellness: You feel better, remember and think more clearly and make good decisions easily when you get enough sleep.
  2. Getting stuff done: Sleep helps you concentrate and be more productive.
  3. Safer Driving: Enough sleep improves alertness, reaction time, and decision-making which are essential for safe driving.
  4. Handle things better: Sleep lowers stress levels so you go about your day in a clear, well-thought-out way.
  5. Remember More: You process, store new information and recall things better when you've had a good night's sleep.
  6. Stay Healthy: Sleep helps your immune system fight off illness and stay strong.
  7. Grow Strong Muscles: Sleep helps your body repair and restore the body, which can speed up muscle growth after exercise.


What are the main stages of sleep?

Each stage of sleep feels different and plays a different role in preparing your body for the next day.

Stage 1: Wake stage
(1-7 minutes)

  1. Heartbeat slows
  2. Eye movements slows
  3. Breathing slows
  4. Individuals feel drowsy
  5. You start to close your eyes
  6. You can hear the environment

​​Stage 2: Light sleep
(10-25 minutes)

  1. Muscles relax
  2. Respiration slows
  3. Heart rate decreases
  4. Body temperature drops
  5. Sleep begins or transitions between cycles
  6. Waking up is easy in this state

Stage 3: Deep sleep
(20-40 minutes)

  1. Blood pressure drops
  2. The brain activity during this period is known as delta waves
  3. Waking up is more difficult and you are disoriented or groggy if awoken
  4. The body promotes muscle growth and repair:

  • Blood flow increases to muscles

  • Growth hormone is released

  • Tissue growth and cell repair occur​​

Stage 4: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep (10-60 minutes)

  1. Respiration increases
  2. Heart rate increases
  3. Temperature regulation is switched off
  4. Vivid dreams may occur and eyes move rapidly
  5. The body is immobile to stop you from acting out dreams
  6. Benefits for memory, learning, and problem-solving
  7. Benefits for memory, learning, and problem-solving​