Sleep is important, and you probably spend about a third of your time doing it. During sleep your body rests, recuperates, and removes toxins from the brain. Poor sleep affects almost every system and tissue-type in the body, including your brain, heart, lungs, metabolism, and immune system. There’s even research linking a chronic lack of sleep to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.
Sleep has four stages involving two different types of sleep. The first three stages are non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, or quiet sleep. The fourth, REM sleep, is known as active sleep. You cycle through all the stages several times each night, with longer, deeper REM periods happening as you near the morning.
- Stage 1: During the first stage, as you transition between wakefulness and sleep, you’re easy to awaken. Your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements slow, your muscles relax, and your brain produces slow brain waves, known as high-amplitude theta waves. If you’re awakened during this stage, you’ll probably say you weren’t asleep.
- Stage 2: This is a light sleep in which you become less aware of your surroundings as you continue to relax. Your body temperature drops, your eye movements stop, and your brain wave activity slows but is also marked with electrical activity that comes in brief bursts. This is the repeated sleep cycle in which you’ll spend the most time – about 50 percent of your total sleep.
- Stage 3: Occurring in longer periods during the first half of the night, this is a period of deep sleep during which deep, slow brain waves called delta waves start to emerge. You’re less responsive to environmental stimuli and harder to rouse because this is your deepest stage of sleep. This stage of sleep is important, because during this stage your body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.
- Stage 4: REM sleep occurs about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. Your brain becomes more active, your eyes move rapidly behind your eyelids, and your brain wave activity is closer to the activity of wakefulness. Your breathing becomes irregular and faster and your blood pressure and heart rate increase. This is when most dreaming happens, and there’s a theory that dreaming is how our brains process and store information. Your body is immobilized during REM sleep, which keeps you from acting out your dreams.
If you’re ready for the best sleep of your life, you owe it to yourself to check out the mattress selection at Mancini’s Sleepworld. Since 1969, the Mancini family has sold brand name mattresses and furniture at fair prices while treating every customer with respect. Now more than ever, Mancini’s Sleepworld is prioritizing the safety and comfort of their customers. You can experience their commitment to a great mattress buying experience by visiting one of their 33 locations across the greater Bay Area. All locations are open for walk-ins or by appointment. To learn more, contact Mancini's here or call 800-647-5337.