How Sleep Works

Every human being requires sleep to survive and live a healthy life. Although many people may cheat themselves from hours of sleep now and then, it is still an essential must for everyone. Many may wonder how sleep works. What are the stages? What does the body go through when sleeping? These are all important questions that have surprising and interesting answers.

Characteristics of Sleep

A person will lie down on a comfortable flat surface such as a bed or sofa. Their eyes are closed, muscles are relaxed, they have a slow rhythmic pattern of breathing, the heart slows down and about twice an hour the person adjusts their sleeping position.

the brain on sleep

Go to bed for a healthy brain!

What Happens in the Brain?

During sleep delta and theta brain waves are present. According to Slumber Sage, As a person falls into a deep sleep the brainwave patterns slow down. 25% of the night sleep is spent in REM sleep. REM is also known as rapid eye movement and it is experienced three to five times per night during sleep.  Follow Slumber Sage on Twitter @slumbersage or Facebook.


Dreams are created by the brain when random electrical activity is processed about every 90 minutes during the sleep process. It is the brains response to random impulses. Dreams usually involve the person who is having the dream. Dreams can be in black and white or vivid color.

Stages of Sleep

  • Stage One – The process of being awake and falling asleep. Light Sleep.
  • Stage Two – The onset of sleep allows the heart rate and breathing pattern to be regular and the body temperature drops.
  • Stage Three and Four – The muscles are relaxed, blood pressure drops, breathing becomes slow, blood supply and muscles increase, hormones are released, tissue repair and growth occurs, REM sleep occurs, dreams occur and the body is restored with energy for the next day.

One-third of a person’s life is spent sleeping. Sleeping provides a wide range of health benefits including contributing to a healthy immune system. The entire process of sleep in naturally built in to every human being and occurs on a daily basis. Unless the person chooses to reduce the hours of sleep they experience. Working late, studying or dealing with an emergency are common reasons people choose to sleep less.

It is recommended to stay on a sleep schedule and rarely veer off track from it. This will keep the body clock on a rhythm which will help improve the quality of sleep. At times, sleep disorders and problems may occur. If signs and symptoms such as extreme fatigue during the day, difficulty staying awake, waking up choking or gasping for air arises, it is highly recommended that the person see a physician immediately for proper diagnosis.

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy can affect anyone at any age throughout a lifetime. Luckily there are treatments available and preventative measures that can help reduce the symptoms and even cure the sleep disorder. The human body will always require a daily sleep process and it is up to the person to care for themselves and allow themselves to sleep well.



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