Sleep is sleep - right? You put on your PJs, get beneath the covers, close your eyes, drift off, get your snooze on, and wake up to tackle a brand new day. Done and dusted. Well, on the surface, yes. However, deep inside your beautiful brain, there are many other things afoot while you tap out for the day.
Sleep scientists call it the ‘dimensions of sleep’, and it refers to the different stages of sleep your body goes through during the course of the night, as well as the biological stuff that occurs during each of these stages. There are five stages in all, including:
The Drowsy Stage. This is the very first stage of sleep and lasts around 5 to 10 minutes if you are listening to your body cues, and practising proper sleep hygiene.
The Light Sleep Stage. This is a non-REM stage that occurs just after you've fallen asleep. Your heartbeat and breathing slows and your brain waves start to relax.
The Moderate Sleep Stage. The next non-REM stage lasts around 30 minutes. Now your muscles begin to relax and your body temperature drops.
The Deep Sleep Stage. This phase is very important for overall rest and enjoying that 'refreshed' feeling. It is when your brain waves, heartbeat and breathing are at their slowest.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement). Things pick back up as your brain waves, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing increase to levels that are similar to when you are fully awake. Your eyes move beneath the eyelids and your legs and arms are temporarily paralysed to keep your body from acting out all the dreams you have at this stage.
If your body goes through all these stages at night, you’ll enjoy the benefits in the form of improved mood, heart health, better immune function, stronger lungs and a boosted metabolism. On the other hand, if you don't, your risk of developing depression increases, along with elevated levels of anxiety and stress, as well as obesity and heart disease.
So there you have it - the gist on sleep dimensions and why you really need to prioritise rest in your life. As you can tell, it’s not just a matter of waking up cranky or with some unattractive dark circles under your eyes - insufficient sleep can actually have severe, long-term repercussions for your health.Check back soon for some more insider insights on all things sleep-related. In the meantime, remember to book a spot and visit us in-store to try out our Comfort Solutions Lab so we can use our proprietary pressure-point mapping tech to pinpoint the best bed for your particular set of comfort requirements. After all, when you’ve got the basics covered, you’re that much closer to getting an amazing night’s rest.