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Understand the Science Behind Your Sleep

Understand the Science Behind Your Sleep

We need sleep as much as the air we breathe. It is essential to our survival yet sometimes we neglect it or lie awake tossing and turning. Sleep is a four-stage process and involves several parts of the brain. This article breaks down and simplifies the facts to help you better understand the science behind your sleep.

Stages of Sleep

Rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and non-REM sleep are the two basic types of sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, your body goes through four different stages of sleep a few times during the night.

The first three stages are non-REM sleep:

1st Stage: short period of wakefulness to sleep

2nd Stage: period of light sleep

3rd Stage: period of deep sleep

REM sleep:

Around 90 minutes after falling asleep you enter REM sleep where most of your dreams occur.  Your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure increase as your body prepares to wake up. As you get older, the length of this stage decreases.

How the Body Controls Sleep  

Many parts of the brain remain active while you sleep. For instance, they control your dreams, when you fall asleep and wake up, and essential bodily functions. The brain communicates with the nervous system to control your sleep through the release of chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin.

John Hopkins Medicine defines the two main processes that control sleep: circadian rhythms and sleep drive. The body’s biological clock controls circadian rhythms by responding to light and other cues. At night as it gets dark, your body increases its production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. Staring at your phone or computer late at night makes it harder to fall asleep, because blue light inhibits melatonin production. Sleep drive is the desire you have to sleep – similar to your desire for water when you’re thirsty. If you haven’t slept for a long time, your body can force you to sleep.

Solutions for a good night’s rest

To create a healthy nighttime routine, put your phone away before bed, drink tea or water, stretch, practice personal hygiene, and take a natural sleep aid. DREAMit is a natural solution for sleep. Its formula combines natural ingredients such as Valerian Root, 5HTP, and melatonin to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep.

DREAMit product image: a solution for sleep