How Stages of Sleep Impact Your Health

Our society has a hustle mentality causing us to overlook necessities such as sleep, mental health, and free time. In fact, in 2013, 40% of Americans were getting less sleep than recommended by the CDC. Are you in that group?

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “You can sleep when you’re dead.” True enough, but what’s the rush to get there? By taking care of your body through appropriate sleep regimens, you set yourself up for success in many other areas of your health, including:

  • Energy levels
  • Metabolism 
  • Weight
  • Immune Health 
  • Mental Health
  • Memory Formation
  • Regulation of Emotion

Researchers have found there to be five sleep stages, but to keep things simple, let’s focus on light, deep, and REM sleep

Light Sleep

Light sleep is the first stage your body enters as you start to drift off. Light sleep occurs when your brain has begun to sleep, but your body is still processing memories and emotions. During this stage, your metabolism begins to regulate itself, and breathing and heart rate typically decrease. 

Deep Sleep

During deep sleep, your body does a lot of building and repairing, preparing you for tomorrow. Your muscles relax, your heart rate regulates, and your mind is at ease. It’s a time for cell regrowth and strengthening your immune system.

REM Sleep

REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, is when most dreaming occurs. REM is integral for emotion regulation and memory because it declutters your brain of unwanted and unnecessary feelings. Your body gets the most quality rest during REM sleep, allowing you to feel rejuvenated when you wake.

Over the course of your slumber, your body continuously cycles through the stages of sleep, taking what it needs and leaving what it doesn’t. To be the best version of you, you MUST allow your body to cycle through all necessary stages. So, pick a bedtime and stick to it. And while you’re at it, pick a consistent wake-up time too. Easier said than done, we know…but your body will thank you for it and you will FEEL the positive impact it has on your overall wellness right away!