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Sleep Basics

When you sleep, your body rests and your energy is restored. Sleep is an active state separated into 2 different stages. These stages are REM- or rapid eye movement and NREM or non rapid eye movement. Throughout the night people will cycle through these sleep stages several times. 

Characteristics 

REM (rapid eye movement)
  -Brain waves, heart rate and breathing are all similar to being awake
  -Voluntary muscles are paralyzed during this stage of sleep
  -Dreams occur during this time
  -The percentage of REM sleep decreases with age


NREM (non-REM sleep)
  -Stage 1: this stage can last from 5-10 minutes. This is the time that you feel you are falling asleep
  -Stage 2: known as light sleep. During this stage heart rate slows and temperature decreases
  -Dreams occur during this time
  -Stage 3 and 4: This is known as deep sleep or delta sleep. This is the stage of sleep that helps you to feel most rested.

Each stage of sleep can last from 5-15 minutes 

A sleep cycle consists of all 4 stages and then a period of REM sleep before beginning a new cycle.
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