Sleep isn’t all the same. As we sleep our body enters different stages; light sleep, deep sleep and R.E.M sleep. It’s important that your body is able to enter each of the stages and complete a full sleep cycle. This will help you to feel fully refreshed and it will help you to learn.
Here are some videos explaining the different cycles:
This video has some tricky language in it. It talks about Brain Waves, which is information gathered from a medical machine. You can either a) ignore it or b) do your own research to find out more. Watch it with your teacher, a group of friends or an adult so that you can get the most out of it!
Here’s what Kids Health has to say about The Stages of Sleep
As you’re drifting off to sleep, it doesn’t seem like much is happening . . . the room is getting fuzzy and your eyelids feel heavier and heavier. But what happens next? A lot!
Your brain swings into action, telling your body how to sleep. As you slowly fall asleep, you begin to enter the five different stages of sleep:
In this stage of light sleep, your body starts to feel a bit drowsy. You can still be woken up easily during this stage. For example, if your sister pokes you or you hear a car horn outside, you’ll probably wake up right away.
After a little while, you enter stage 2, which is a slightly deeper sleep. Your brain gives the signal to your muscles to relax. It also tells your heart to beat a little slower and your breathing to slow down. Even your body temperature drops a bit.
When you’re in this stage, you’re in an even deeper sleep, also called slow-wave sleep. Your brain sends a message to your blood pressure to get lower. Your body isn’t sensitive to the temperature of the air around you, which means that you won’t notice if it’s a little hot or cold in your room. It’s much harder to be awakened when you’re in this stage, but some people may sleepwalk or talk in their sleep at this point.
This is the deepest sleep yet and is also considered slow-wave sleep. It’s very hard to wake up from this stage of sleep, and if you do wake up, you’re sure to be out of it and confused for at least a few minutes. Like they do in stage 3, some people may sleepwalk or talk in their sleep when going from stage 4 to a lighter stage of sleep.
Stage 5: R.E.M
R.E.M. stands for rapid eye movement. Even though the muscles in the rest of your body are totally relaxed, your eyes move back and forth very quickly beneath your eyelids. The R.E.M. stage is when your heart beats faster and your breathing is less regular. This is also the stage when people dream!
While you’re asleep, you repeat stages 2, 3, 4, and R.E.M. about every 90 minutes until you wake up in the morning. For most kids, that’s about four or five times a night. Who said sleep was boring?