Five Stages of the Sleep Cycle

Know More About Your Sleep Patterns

Many people feel sleepy and groggy during the daytime hours. If you’ve ever had a hard time staying awake during the day, you understand how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. When we sleep, we typically pass through five phases or stages of sleep. Below is a description of these stages and what happens during each.

Stage 1

This is the lightest stage of sleep when you feel yourself starting to drift off. You can be awakened easily during stage 1 sleep and once awakened, can often remember visual images. Many people in stage 1 sleep have sudden muscle contractions which are often preceded by a sensation falling. On average, you spend about 10 minutes in this stage of sleep which is just enough time for your body to slow down and your muscles to relax.

Stage 2

The second stage of sleep is also considered a light sleep. During this stage, your brain is working on slowing down as your heart rate and breathing do the same. Your body temperatures drops a bit and you begin to reach a stage of complete relaxation.

Stage 3

The third stage of sleep is the beginning of deep sleep. This is when your brain waves slow down significantly and produce waves called delta waves. If you were to be abruptly awoken during stage three sleep, you would feel groggy & confused and find it difficult to focus for a few moments.

Stage 4

The third stage of sleep is when you experience your deepest sleep of the night. Your brain is only producing delta waves during this phase of sleep. If awakened during stage four sleep, it is difficult to adjust immediately as you feel groggy and disoriented. During this stage of deep sleep is when many children experience bedwetting, night terrors and sleepwalking.

Stage 5

The fifth phase of sleep is often called “active sleep” or REM sleep which stands for rapid eye movement. This is the stage of sleep when you dream and when your brain activity, blood flow and breathing all increase. Adults typically spend about one quarter of the time they’re sleeping in REM sleep.

Is Sleep Apnea Keeping You Awake?

Some people who cannot sleep well at night suffer from sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder affecting millions of people in the United States which is characterized by frequent interruptions of breathing during sleep. If you have sleep apnea and do not seek treatment, it can lead to serious, life-threatening health issues including high blood pressure, stroke and problems with your heart.

Contact Spark Sleep Solutions

If you have trouble staying asleep at night and have been told you snore loudly, you may have sleep apnea without even realizing it. At Spark Sleep Solutions, we specialize in nothing but sleep apnea disorders and offer over 100 CPAP alternatives and snoring treatment options. We also provide TMJ/TMD treatment for people with pain and dysfunction of the jaw muscles and jaw joint. With four offices in San Jose, San Ramon, Santa Cruz and Los Gatos, we make it very easy and convenient to get the help you need. Just give us a call at (408) 490-0182 to schedule an appointment with us.