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Rapid Eye Movement or REM follows after the four stages of NREM (non-REM) sleep and occupies about one-fifth of total rest time in adults.
During REM, all vivid dreaming takes place. Our internal temperature is at its lowest. Our heart rate increases and our breathing is irregular. Generally, our muscles are immobilized, and we are incapable of physical response, except for our eyes and ears. However, our brain is fully active.
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We spend about half our sleeping time in stage 2. It can last up to 50 minutes during the first 90-minute sleep cycle, and less during subsequent cycles.
When we fall asleep, the nearly 86 billion neurons in our brain starts to fire evenly and rhythmically. Our sensory receptors become muffled at the same time.
We can remain in stage 4 - similar to a coma or brain death - for only about 30 minutes before the brain wakes up and falls back to sleep again.
Thomas Edison said that sleep is "a bad habit." Like Edison, we seem to think of sleep as an adversary and try to fight it at every turn. The average American sleeps less than the recommended seven hours per night, mostly due to electric lights, television, computers, and smartphones.
Some scientists consider stage 3 and 4 to be one stage. Your body rests during these stages to help cells recover. Your cells produce the most growth hormone here to mend your bones and muscles.
Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, body temperature and blood pressure. The lack of sleep prevents us from regulating our moods well or recovering promptly from injuries.
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In these ideas, I've written almost everything about the sleep that we have in our relaxed nights.
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