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When your alarm goes off, are you waking up bleary-eyed and groggy? It may be because you didn’t make it through enough complete sleep cycles. For you to feel rested and awake in the morning, you need to get deep, rejuvenating sleep that can only be achieved by going to bed early enough and staying asleep long enough throughout the night.

What Are the Stages of Sleep?

There are 5 stages of sleep in one sleep cycle. A complete sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes, and you should aim to complete 4 or 5 sleep cycles depending on your age. Take time to learn about the importance of sleep cycles so you can feel your best each day and have the energy to support those around you.

Stage 1: Light Sleep

This early phase of sleep lasts from 5 to 10 minutes. Your eyes are closed, and you start to drift off, but it’s easy to be awakened by even a quiet sound. Your muscles are still active so they might jump or twitch in response to a dream you may start to have.  

Stage 2: Becoming Relaxed

For 15 to 20 minutes, your heart rate, brain waves, and breathing begin to slow, and your body temperature starts to drop. Your muscles start to relax, and you’re less likely to hear noises in the room.

Stage 3: Starting to Enter Deep Sleep

For about 10 minutes, your brain waves are slow and steady. These are called delta waves, but then there are short bursts of faster brain activity called beta-waves.

Stage 4: Restorative Deep Sleep

This is the longest of the sleep phases, and it’s an important one. When you’re in a deep sleep, it’s really hard to wake you up even with loud commotion. Your brain waves are very slow, and your body releases growth hormone that repairs and regenerates tissue and muscle. This is the most energy restoring stage of the sleep cycle, and it lasts for about 40 minutes.

Stage 5: REM Sleep

During the Rapid Eye Movement (or REM) sleep cycle, your brain is very active, and you have vivid dreams. Your blood flows faster, your breathing speeds up, and your eyes dart back and forth. Your muscles are in a state of paralysis, so they’ll no longer move in response to your dreams. This phase is extremely important for mental health as it stimulates your brain in ways that are essential to learning and remembering things. It’s also great for your emotional health since it replenishes serotonin and dopamine, both natural chemicals that make you happier. During your first sleep cycle of the night, REM sleep only lasts around 10 minutes but that amount of time increases with each new sleep cycle.

How Can I Start Sleeping Better?

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. Instead of thinking of it as a waste of time, think of sleep as a way to make the other two-thirds of your life better. Take the following steps to achieve quality sleep, and you’ll think more clearly, be more productive, and be strong enough to help those around you be their best.

  • Get plenty of exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio activity per day. If you need to, break it up into 10-minute increments. As long as you’re moving your body, you’ll have less trouble falling asleep at night.
  • Eat sleep-inducing foods and avoid those that keep you awake. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, don’t drink caffeine or eat anything that could cause heartburn beyond the early afternoon. Before bed, eat a snack such as whole grain cereal with milk, since complex carbohydrates increase the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream and calcium is a natural source of melatonin.
  • Buy a better mattress. Some beds aren’t made for every type of sleeper. If your mattress is firm, but you like to sleep on your side, it may be causing pain in your hips and shoulders. Your bed could also be making you too hot to sleep through the night. Look into a mattress that’s built for your preferred sleeping position, and that can keep you cool.

Try Herobed and Sleep Like a Hero

Now that you know about the importance of sleep, we’d like to help. Herobed was developed to provide deep, rejuvenating sleep to busy, selfless people like you. With over 3,000 micro coils and layers of cooling, contouring memory foam, you’ll be able to sleep through the night and wake up ready to conquer the day. With a 100-day risk-free trial period, you have nothing to lose.

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