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The Importance of Sleep

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´╗┐Bodily Rhythms During Sleep Sleep is extremely important for numerous reasons. It affects both your physical and mental well-being. If you?re stressed, ill, or need to solve a problem, sleep is one of the best ways to cope. While you sleep, your body rests and restores its energy while your brain continuously works throughout the night, processing daily tasks and memories. There are about five stages of sleep that you encounter throughout the night, and sleep is mainly promoted by natural cycles of activity in the brain. While you sleep, your brain actually does a number of things, not just dream. Sleeping helps your brain recover knowledge you may have forgotten during the course of the day. ...read more.


Once REM sleep is completed, your body then returns back to Stage Two. This cycle continues four or five times throughout the night. Stage 1 is the beginning of your sleep cycle and only lasts about five to ten minutes. Your eyes are closed and to others, you seem to be asleep. However, if you?re awoken you may claim you weren?t even asleep yet. Polysomnographs, which are sleep readings, show a reduction in activity between wakefulness and Stage 1. The brain produces high amplitude ?theta waves,? which are extremely slow brain waves. Many people have noticed or been told that they twitch as you?re falling asleep. This is because during Stage 1, many notice the feeling of falling asleep which causes muscle contractions called hypnic myoclonia. ...read more.


It?s called this because of the increased respiration rate and increased brain activity, causing the eyes to move rapidly underneath the eyelids. REM sleep is also called the paradoxical sleep because it?s a mixture of states of excitement and muscular immobility. Basically, the brain and other body systems get to work; they become more active, repairing and regenerating tissue, building bone and muscles, and strengthening the immune system, all while the muscles stay relaxed. REM sleep is usually entered ninety minutes after falling asleep. The first cycle may only last a short amount of time, but lengthens in time each cycle. It can last up to an hour as sleep progresses. This is mainly when dreaming occurs, due to heightened brain activity. But paralysis occurs simultaneously in the major voluntary groups. This is when lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis occurs. ...read more.

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