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How does Sleep Work?

Nov 30, 2013

You like to take frequent catnaps and love the way it refreshes you instantly. But have you ever wondered what happens as you slip into dreamland? You can’t live without sleep after a few days, just as you can’t live without food. Let’s see what happens while you snooze.

Here is what people generally associate sleeping individuals with –

  • The person’s eyes are closed

  • The person breathes in a slow and rhythmic pattern

  • The person doesn’t stir unless he/she is disturbed

  • The person’s muscles are lax

  • The person rolls or rearranges their body after every one or two hours to prevent circulation from being blocked in any part of the body.

In other words, a sleeping individual is completely oblivious to anything that happens around him. The only thing that separates a sleeping person from one who has gone completely comatose is that the former can be awakened by a strong stimulus such as a harsh flash of light, physical touch or loud sound.

Sleep is more complex than it actually seems. It might not look like much. However it in fact divided it into four different stages –

Stage One – Light Sleep or between being awake or falling asleep

Stages Two – Onset of sleep. In addition to being disengaged from his surroundings the body of a person who reaches the second stage of sleep experiences a drop in temperature. The breathing and heart rate are also regular during this time.

Stages Three and Four – These are the deepest and most restorative levels of sleep. During this stage a sleeping person’s muscles relax while the blood supply to them increases. This is also when the body works towards tissue growth or repair or replenishes its energy. The body also releases growth hormones which are essential for its growth and development.


A person may also experience REM sleep during their slumber. REM or Rapid Eye Movement usually occurs 90 minutes after a person falls asleep and also recurs after 90 minute intervals as well. It happens when the person dreams and is indicated by the rapid back and forth movement of the eyes behind the closed eyelids.  The legs or facial muscles of a person who experiences REM sleep might also twitch at intervals. Periods of sleep other than REM are known as non REM or NREM sleep.

Since REM sleep usually occurs when a person’s dream it is easy to make that person recall the dream in question. The dream can last from 5 to 30 minutes. Sleep doctors say that a person should experience both NREM and REM sleep to ensure a good night’s sleep. The average adult will spend 25% of a night in REM sleep.

Never make the mistake of missing out on a good night’s sleep. It can seriously hamper how you perform the next day. Now that you know how sleep works you can use it to your advantage and ensure that you always get a good night’s rest after your head hits the pillow. Your friends at Nest Bedding are dedicated to helping you get the good night's sleep you require and desire.

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