Understanding Sleep Cycles to Improve Your Health

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Understanding Sleep Cycles & How it Improves Your Health

Are you having trouble sleeping? Or feeling tired during the day despite getting a full night’s rest? It could be that you’re not familiar with your sleep cycles. Understanding how your body works when it comes to sleep can be the key to getting quality rest and waking up feeling refreshed in the morning. We all know that having a good sleep will improve your health. By understanding what happens during each cycle of sleep, this can make all the difference.

What are Sleep Cycles?

Sleep cycles are periods of time that your body goes through while you’re asleep. During a complete cycle, you go through all five stages of sleep and end up back at stage one, ready to start another cycle. The entire process takes around 90 minutes.

Most people will experience between four and six cycles per night.

The 5 Stages of Sleep

Stage 1

Is the transition from being awake to being asleep. This stage usually lasts for about 10 minutes. Your breathing slows down and becomes more regular as your muscles relax and your brain activity decreases.

Stage 2

Your heart rate continues to slow and your body temperature starts to drop.  You’ll find your muscles relax and your heart rate decreases. Brain waves show a new pattern and eye movement stops. This can last 10-25 minutes. A person typically spends about half their sleep time in this stage.

Stage 3

Delta sleep or slow wave sleep (SWS) commences and you are in a moderate sleep. Breathing starts to slow down and it is harder to wake you up.

This stage is critical to restorative sleep. It allows for your body to recover, grow, boost immunity and heal. It supports insightful thinking and contributes to your memory.

Stage 4

Known as the “deep sleep stage” it is difficult to wake you up. Breathing is shallow and irregular as dreaming begins due to increased brain activity.  On average this stage lasts 20 – 40 minutes.

Stage 5

Also known as REM sleep, brain activity increases even further with more frequent eye movements occurring as vivid dreams become more frequent. After this stage is complete, the process begins again with Stage 1 before repeating itself until it’s time for you to wake up in the morning!

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How Do Sleep Cycles Work?

Our bodies work hard during each stage of a sleep cycle in order to reset itself for the following day. By enabling restorative processes such as cell regeneration and tissue repair, our bodies are a well oiled machine. Each stage plays an important role in ensuring that these processes occur efficiently so that we can maintain our physical health and mental wellbeing over time. This allows us to stay alert throughout the day without feeling overly fatigued or exhausted!


Understanding what happens during each stage of a sleep cycle is essential for understanding why we need quality rest each night in order for our bodies work properly during the day. By staying aware of how our bodies function during different stages of a sleep cycle—as well as factors like diet or exercise that might affect them—we can ensure we get enough quality rest every night so that we feel energised throughout the following day! So if you’re having trouble sleeping or feeling tired too often during the day, it may be worth taking a closer look at your own individual sleep cycles!

Wishing you good nights & days ahead ❤️


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