Sleep affects everything. It’s why it’s the most critical part of your body’s daily recovery. That being said, not all sleep is the same. Your resting period is broken up into different cycles, and we are here to break down the science of sleep and how to achieve the ultimate night’s rest.
Stage 1: Awake/Alert
This is your body’s state when your eyes are closed, but you haven’t quite fallen asleep.
Stage 2: N1 (stage 1 of non-rapid eye movement or NREM)
You are at this stage for about 5% of your sleep. It’s what would be considered the lightest stage of sleeping.
Stage 3: N2 (stage 2 of NREM)
You are in this state for 45% of your total sleep. It’s a deeper stage of sleep where your heart rate and body temperature drop. This part of your sleep cycle is crucial for maintaining brain health and forming memories.
Stage 4: N3 (stage 3 of NREM)
Ideally, this is your deepest sleep and 25% of your total rest. This is the “can’t wake up” part of your cycle. If, for whatever reason, you are awoken during this stage, you might feel a sense of brain fog. It’s also when your body repairs tissue, bone, muscles, and neurons. Your immune system also gets a healthy reboot during this time.
Stage 5: REM
REM sleep is playfully often referred to as the dream state. This phase should account for about 25% of your total sleep. Although, you’re not getting the best rest during REM. Your brain is in a similar state as when you are awake; the only difference is your skeletal muscles are immobile, and breathing becomes erratic and irregular. REM occurs about 90 minutes after you fall asleep and gets longer as the night goes on. You dream the most during this sleep state.
Ways to support and improve your sleep
- Increase your magnesium intake with SWW™ Restore Replenishing Minerals. Doing this will increase the presence of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter that reduces overstimulation and anxious feelings.
- Take Ashwagandha. Taking this decreases cortisol levels, which leads to feeling less anxious.
- Implement cocoa in your diet. It has been shown to have anxiety-relieving effects.
- Make sure to have consistent cardiovascular exercise in your routine. Over time, additional cardio exercise will help lower your resting heart rate, which strengthens your heart and allows your body to be at ease for longer periods.
- Practice yoga to assist your body in destressing.
- Eat more greens, berries, fish, grass-fed beef, lentils, and sweet potatoes. Adding more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet helps fight inflammation in the body.
- Manage your stress to lower anxiety.
- Prioritize recovery after a hard workout to control your stress response. If your body is stressed, you will not rest properly. We recommend replenishing your minerals, eating well, and doing lighter exercise the following day.
Understanding how sleep works and what to do to improve it is vital to your physical and mental health. So much emphasis is placed on what you can do during your awake hours to enhance your wellness, but we often ignore the quality of our rest. Sleep is the foundation of a healthy immune system, body detoxification, tissue regeneration, and supporting your mental health. A good night’s sleep is always a good idea. Use our SWW® tips to ensure you’re recharging the right way.