voluntary muscles should be in paralysis during this time but some
cases have shown movement of the fingers, toes and face. Whilst
sleeping, or just after waking, the person will not be aware of the
of sleep. The mind does not have the ability to detect
changes in sleeping levels and will just think it has had one long,
continuous and uninterrupted sleep.
first stage of sleep will usually last between 5 and 10 minutes.
will be extremely susceptible to being woken out of this stage by
noises around you. At this stage of sleep, if you are woken up, you
will think you just closed your eyes or blinked for a second. The eye
movement and muscle movement is slow. This is also the stage when a
person can jump or be startled due to muscle contraction.
second stage is primarily aimed at preparing
a person for going into a
deep sleep. The muscles will be getting more relaxed. The body
temperature decreases and the heart rate slows down. If you are woken
during this stage, you should be aware that you had been
third stage, light sleep, is closely linked with the fourth stage.
During light sleep, you will be completely relaxed and muscle movement
should be minimal. Your brainwave activity should be creating a slow
delta wave pattern.
you have reached the fourth stage you will now be soundly in a deep
sleep. This is the point where someone would find it
difficult to wake
you. Your muscles should show no movement and your brainwave pattern is
in deep delta.
fifth is the stage of sleep when
dreaming occurs; your brain activity
levels should be very close to when you are awake. It is thought that
this brain activity causes dreams. Rapid eye movement occurs during the
Test results show that a
person’s highest percentage of REM sleep is achieved during early childhood or infancy.
This could be because very young children need an average of up to 16
hours of sleep each day to help development to occur. It has been
concluded through extensive sleep
studies that you spend about
25% of your sleep in a rapid eye movement state, and 75%
in other stages.
complete sleep cycle can take between
90 to 120 minutes to finish and
it is thought that a person can go through up to 5 of these
during one night, depending on the duration of sleep. The period of
rapid eye movement sleep is thought to be less at the start of the
first cycle, allowing more time for deep sleep as a result of how tired
longer your sleep goes on, and the more cycles you complete, the longer
the periods of rapid eye movement become. Tests show that if a person
has been sleep deprived for a few days, the body naturally extends the
periods of REM sleep the cycles produce, to counteract the lost REM
periods over the previous few days.
is a hypothesis that when you are in stage five of the sleep cycle, or
the dreaming stage, rapid eye movement occurs because you are scanning
your dream world. This eye movement may occur because the
differentiate between the process of scanning your surroundings whilst
awake and scanning your surroundings in your dream state. This is only
a hypothesis and in no way conclusive.
(PSG) tests, or sleep tests, are usually carried out in
units of hospitals, or in specialized snoring
centers. This type of
test can measure brainwave activity, eye movement, jaw movement,
airflow, heart rates and oxygen saturation levels and has allowed real
breakthroughs to occur in understanding what the body goes through
Sleep and Memory Brain Functions
functions are known as brain
plasticity. This is the process where new
information, learned or read, can be permanently stored or cemented
into the brains memory for future recognition.
eye movement sleep is generally deemed to be beneficial because it is
thought that this is the brain's way of cataloguing and processing data
that has been collected during the hours of being awake. This could be
where the popular saying comes from “why don’t you sleep on it before
making a decision". The time you spend sleeping allows the brain to
correlate data and can help you think with a clearer head.
walking disorder is usually quite rare. This occurs when
fails to fully awaken after being roused from a deep sleep. This
disorder can be quite dangerous and embarrassing to a sufferer because
they have absolutely no idea what they are doing, or where they are
going. It can occur for only a few seconds or last up to half an hour.
sleep disorder however, can be detrimental
to a person’s health. During
the dream stage of sleeping, a person can physically act out the dream
they are having instead of just in their mind.
the muscles in
the body are resting in paralysis and are unable to move during this
in the case of this disorder a sufferer can punch and kick depending on
what they are dreaming about. In extreme cases, if they are having a
or violent dream, they could potentially hurt themselves or
their partner by lashing out.
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