Have you ever felt like you had good night of sleep but you wake up feeling tired?
While 7 hours has been defined the minimum of sleep needed for the body and brain to recoup, it is not the only part of the equation.
It’s critical to think about sleep quality and whether the time spent sleeping is actually restorative. Progressing smoothly multiple times through the sleep cycle, composed of separate sleep stages, is a vital part of getting truly high-quality rest.
Each sleep stage plays a part in allowing your mind and body to wake up refreshed. Understanding the sleep cycle also helps explain how certain sleep disorders, including insomnia and sleep apnea can impact a person’s sleep and health.
Sleep is not uniform. Instead, over the course of the night, we go through several rounds of the sleep cycle, which is composed of individual stages. Not all sleep cycles are the same length, but on average they last about 90 minutes each*
Sleep cycles can vary from person to person and from night to night based on a wide range of factors such as age, recent sleep patterns, and alcohol consumption.
Sleep Stages and Break Down of Sleep
During Light sleep brain activity slows down, but there are short bursts of activity that actually help resist being woken up by external stimuli. Light sleep can last for 10-25 minutes during the first sleep cycle, and each stage can become longer during the night. Collectively, a person typically spends about half their sleep time in light sleep.
During deep sleep it is harder to wake up and muscle tone, pulse, and breathing rate decrease. This stage is critical to restorative sleep, allowing for bodily recovery and growth. It also boosts the immune system and other key bodily processes. Even though brain activity is reduced, there is evidence that deep sleep contributes creativity and memory.
We spend the most time in deep sleep during the first half of the night. During the early sleep cycles, deep sleep stages commonly last for 20-40 minutes. As we continue sleeping, these stages get shorter, and more time gets spent in REM sleep instead.
During REM sleep, brain activity picks up, nearing levels seen when we’re awake or higher. At the same time, the body experiences atonia, which is a temporary paralysis of the muscles, with two exceptions: the eyes and the muscles that control breathing. Even though the eyes are closed, they can be seen moving quickly, which is how this stage gets its name.
REM sleep is believed to be essential to cognitive functions like memory and learning. REM sleep is known for the most vivid dreams, which is explained by the significant uptick in brain activity.
Under normal circumstances, we don’t enter a REM sleep stage until we’ve been asleep for about 90 minutes. As the night goes on, REM stages get longer, especially in the second half of the night. While the first REM stage may last only a few minutes, later stages can last for around an hour. In total, REM stages make up around 25% of sleep in adults.
Importance of each sleep stage
Sleep stages are important because they allow the brain and body to recuperate and develop. Failure to obtain enough of both deep and REM sleep may explain some of the profound consequences of insufficient sleep on emotional and psychical health.
Sleepers who are frequently awoken during earlier stages may struggle to properly cycle into these deeper sleep stages. People with insomnia may not get enough total sleep to accumulate the needed time in each stage.
What affects the sleep stages?
While age plays important part in changes in sleep stage, sleep disorders and other disorders that cause multiple awakenings at night may interrupt a healthy sleep cycle. Alcohol and irregular sleep also can cause abnormality in the sleep cycle.
How to get to the desired sleep stages so we can wake up rejuvenated and restored?
A key step is to focus on improving your sleep hygiene. That is our sleep environment and sleep-related habits as well as some of our lifestyle choices:
- Consistent sleep schedule is key. Understanding our sleep chronotype (that natural feeling of knowing what time of day you are most alert and when you prefer to go to bed) and looking at your hypnogram (break down of your sleep) can assist in establishing a routine that works well for you personally. By knowing what kind of sleeper you are, you can adjust your schedule
- Getting natural daylight exposure
- Avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and eliminating noise and light disruptions can help you get uninterrupted sleep and promote proper alignment of your circadian rhythm
- Reducing caffeine consumption, particularly later in the day. The stimulating effects of caffeine last for many hours, so it’s recommended to cut the caffeine after 2 pm
- Keep temperature in your bedroom cool
- Limit screen time before bed and dim your lights
- Create a pre-sleep routine
Terroma moment - take a shower and diffuse Terroma Lights Out Blend in the diffuser at bedtime. You can keep the diffuser on throughout the night, but make sure to only add 2-3 drops as you don't want the scent to be overwhelming while falling asleep.
Here is how the blend works:
To be able to fall asleep fast and improve the quality of sleep, we have to put our brain in the right mood. Terroma Lights Out blend is created to allow a deep brain and body relaxation and aids in shutting down agitated feelings and thoughts. Think about it as Brain Hacking or the fastest way to “hack” our brain is through the power of scents.
See below screen shots from Oura ring, which detects the sleep cycles. After diffusing the blend at night and throughout the night, sleep stages started to shift with REM and deep sleep being in the normal percentile for my age.
|Screen shots from Oura ring which I use to track my sleep. Anything in red indicates that the contributor is not in good parameters hence the sleep quality is compromised.||Screen shots from Oura ring indicating improved quality of sleep with REM and deep sleep being much higher percentage, as well as good restfulness and efficiency.|
Other users of Terroma Lights Out Blend are reporting ease falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.
Try Lights Out blend and sleep better. Feel better. If you are not happy with the results, we will be happy to return your money.
Founder of Terroma