Types of Sleep: How to Wake Up Feeling Well Rested

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Types of Sleep: How to Wake Up Feeling Well Rested

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There are different states and stages of sleep (known as sleep architecture) and some leave you more rested than others. Your sleep architecture follows a predictable sleep cycle with MOR (rapid eye movement) and without MOR. These two states alternate approximately every 90 minutes. Read on to learn more about the different stages of sleep and how you can wake up feeling rested. 

Sleep Types 

Non-REM Sleep 

Stage 1: light weight where it is easy to wake up, muscles relax with occasional jerks, eye movements are slow.  Stage 2:The movements of the eye cease; brain waves slow down with occasional peaks of fast waves.  Stage 3: Occurs mainly in the first half of the night. Deep sleep; the person is hard to wake up, big slow brain waves, the heart and respiratory rate is slow and the muscles are relaxed. 

Sleep with MOR

  • Occurs normally about 90 minutes after falling asleep and longer and deeper periods occur during the second half of the night; cycles along with the non-REM stages throughout the night.The eyes move quickly behind closed eyelids.

  • Breathing, heart rate and blood pressure are irregular.

  • This is the stage where dreams come up.

  • The muscles of the arms and legs are temporarily paralyzed.

The third stage of sleep without MOR is the deepest phase of sleep; it is the one that makes you feel well rested and energetic the next day. It is also during this stage of sleep that the body repairs and rebuilds the tissues, rebuilds the bones and muscles and strengthens the immune system.  Our need for sleep does not change as we get older; however, finding sleep can become more difficult later in adult life. In women, the onset of menopause brings about hormonal changes that can disrupt sleep. Many older adults struggle to stay asleep at night or tend to wake up very early in the morning. Many adults suffer from occasional insomnia. Life events that can be stressful, such as job loss, death of a family member or transitions and normal life stages can disrupt sleep and make restorative sleep make it more rare. Short periods of difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep are fairly common and do not necessarily occur in conjunction with a major medical condition.  If you suffer from occasional insomnia, an over-the-counter medication like ZzzQuil Liquid or ZzzQuil LiquiCaps can help you. Both contain diphenhydramine, an antihistamine known for its ability to help relieve occasional insomnia. Sweet dreams!