Sleep is an essential need, especially for human beings for us to function. Sleep replenishes our energy while repairing our bodies. It is highly advised to get enough sleep to reduce the risk of health issues. Sleep has different stages called Sleep Cycle; each step has several types and has different effects on our body. These types are non-REM and REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement). These two types generally differ with each other as each class has different purposes.
Sleeping cycle varies for every person. It is different depending on the person’s body, age, and health. Generally, the period lasts 90 minutes when the person starts getting tired or sleepy. During this time the body is experiencing the stages of the sleep cycle.
What Is The Ideal Sleep Cycle
A consistent sleep cycle is one of the best things to have. But it differs per person, depending on certain factors and the person’s lifestyle. Some culture, especially in Western society, people tend to sleep for a more extended period from 8 to 10 hours. Thus, this is what works for them and their lifestyle.
In some cultures, the ideal sleep cycle that they practice is a two-phase sleep. This type of sleeping cycle is what they are accustomed to, a 6-hour long sleep during night time and 1-2 hours during the afternoon. For some researchers, this sleeping cycle is more fit for our bodies.
With this in mind, the ideal sleep cycle depends on a person’s lifestyle and preferences.
Stages of Sleep Cycle
Generally, there are five stages of the sleep cycle. It lasts about 90 minutes. During that time our bodies move through the five stages. Each period has a different effect on our mind and bodies, serving different purposes such as repair and revitalizing of energy. The first four stages are called non-REM sleep while the 5th stage is the REM sleep.
Here are the five stages of the sleep cycle:
Stage 1 – also known as the transitional phase, during this time you are partially awake while asleep.
Stage 2 – It is the light sleep, during stage 2 eye movement is reduced. The brain is slowing down as well.
Stage 3 – Is the state of deep sleep. The brain begins to generate delta waves.
Stage 4 – The deep sleep, this is where you are not likely to get awake. Your breathing is in rhythm and relaxed muscles.
Stage 5 – This stage is different as it is the REM stage; this is where we dream. REM is the only sleep where dreaming occurs.
Understanding The Sleep Cycle
the Having a consistent sleep cycle is very important for a person. The sleep cycle has different purposes and features. It varies per person. Therefore, one should understand their sleep cycle and it is a great way to keep ourselves healthy and fit as a good sleep cycle has many benefits for our body. One should further know what kind of sleep cycle their body likes. As choosing the best sleep cycle can significantly improve your life, primarily through your health.
The Alternative Cycle
Several sleep cycles are practiced, and the typical sleep cycle is still debatable — these variations, optimized to fit one’s lifestyle and preferences. Choosing the best sleep cycle is up to you and your liking.
Here are alternative sleeping cycles:
- Everyman Sleep Cycle – Consist of 3.5 hours of sleep and three 20 minute naps.
- Dymaxion Sleep Cycle – For short sleepers a 2-hour sleep, this cycle, made of four 30-minute naps.
- Uberman Sleep Cycle – Like Dymaxion is a 2-hour sleep but made up of six 20-minute naps.
These kinds of sleep cycles are not advisable for children and seniors as these persons need lots of time of sleep.
The sleeping cycle is an essential factor in sleep. Each stage of the sleep cycle has different effects and benefits. It differs for every person, as every person has different needs. Depending on the age, gender, and health of a person. Therefore, there is no general or standard sleeping cycle for everyone. Every person has a preference for their sleeping. It is especially true for different cultures with different sleeping cycles.