The sleep cycle
There are five stages in the sleep cycle.
There are five stages in the sleep cycle: three of light sleep and two of deep sleep. During the night, you move through these five stages several times.
To feel fully rested, you need to spend a lot of time in Stage 5 sleep.
This stage is also known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and it’s where dreaming and deep sleep occur.
The first time you reach Stage 5 will be roughly 90 minutes after falling asleep — it will generally last only about 10 minutes.
As the night goes on, the time you spend at Stage 5 gets longer, which means that you’ll dream for longer.
Sleeping pills may help you to fall asleep, but they will not help you get all the way to Stage 5.
You won’t be able to tell exactly how much time you spend at each stage unless you go to a sleep clinic. However, you can take the sleep quiz (the modified PSQI) to find out more about the quality of your sleep.
How sleep problems can affect you
Sleep problems can make everyday tasks seem more difficult and can make you feel more irritable than usual.
Sleep problems can also affect your health. If you’re overtired, you are more likely to feel anxious or depressed, have memory or concentration problems, trip or fall.
Severe sleep problems may even have an impact on your personality.