A good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity.

Quality sleep is as important to health as a healthy diet and regular exercise. In fact, it affects how you look, feel, and perform on a daily basis and can have an immense impact on your long-term health.

While you sleep, your brain and body work together to rest and to recharge your body and mind. Sleep refreshes your brain, boosts your immune system, and repairs damaged cells. It also affects how you think, work, learn, react, interact, perform and feel throughout the day.

Daily Sleep Goals1

ADULTS: 7-9 hours

TEENS: 8-10 hours

CHILDREN: 8-11 hours

TODDLERS: 11-14 hours

INFANTS: 12-15 hours

Sleep Cycles

Five full sleep cycles per night is considered optimal, each lasting about an hour and a half. Within each cycle you progress from light to deep to REM sleep, sometimes followed by a short wake. While this is the typical progression, these stages aren’t always sequential. It’s quite common to switch from and to light sleep multiple times at night.

With the SleepScore daily report, you’ll be able to track your sleep cycles and use fact-based insights and ultra-personalized guidance to improve your sleep.

The four main stages of sleep within each cycle.

Light Sleep

Considered your baseline, half of the time spent sleeping is in this restful stage. Your brain activity slows and your body relaxes as your heart rate and breathing decrease. It’s ideal to wake up from Light Sleep, and the SleepScore Smart Alarm is designed to help make that happen.

Deep Sleep

After going through your first light sleep, you enter a slow wave stage. Your brain waves, heart rate and breathing slow considerably as your blood pressure lowers and muscles relax. Deep Sleep is vital for physical and immune system restoration. Subsequently, it’s essential for memory, learning, next-day cognitive performance and the feeling of being refreshed and recharged the next day. After each cycle, your need for deep sleep diminishes, so time spent in this stage becomes progressively shorter.

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep

After deep sleep, you enter periods of REM sleep that become progressively longer throughout each cycle. This is the mental restoration stage of sleep and where most dreaming occurs. Your brain activity levels increase significantly to help process, store and link information, which is critical for creativity, memory and learning. It also processes the emotional experiences of the day and prepares for upcoming challenges, which greatly impacts your emotional wellbeing. This cycle is more prominent in the later cycles.

Wake

While preparing for bed, your body starts in a state of wake as you enter the early onset into the light sleep stage. As you continue into the stages of your sleep cycle, you enter brief stages of wakening at night, between the other sleep stages, which is a normal part of sleep. Whether you realize it or not, while in light sleep, it’s not unusual for your body become more sensitive to short periods of wake.

Understand Your
Sleep Issues.
Then Put Them to Bed.

Short Sleep
Duration

Occurence: Very common
Main Causes: Not reserving sufficient time to sleep and/or an inconsistent sleep schedule
Symptoms: Mental and physical fatigue, grogginess, impaired mood, daytime sleepiness, weight loss or gain
Side Effects: More vulnerable to any kind of disease and increased chances of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, obesity and depression

Circadian Rhythm Disruption

Occurence: Affects millions of night-shift workers and travelers
Main Causes: Irregular work schedules or cross-time zone travel causes a misalignment in the biological clock and sleep schedule as one tries to sleep at the same time the brain signals to stay awake
Symptoms: Not able to follow your habitual sleep schedule; trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early or too late; urge to sleep during the day
Side Effects: Daytime sleepiness, impaired mood and cognitive performance

Snoring

Occurence: 37 million Americans snore each night and 90 million have snored at some point during their lives
Main Causes: Partially narrowed airway in the nose and/or throat
Symptoms: Raspy, hissing sounds caused by throat vibrations
Side Effects: Sleep disruption and impaired sleep quality

Insomnia

Occurence: Very common with symptoms affecting 30% of adults at some point and nearly 10% more suffering from chronic insomnia
Main Causes: An unhealthy sleep routine, medical conditions, genetic make-up, psychological issues and/or hormonal changes
Symptoms: Daytime sleepiness and awakeness at night
Side Effects: Health issues, impaired mood and sleep-related accidents

SLEEP-RELATED BREATHING DISORDERS

Occurence: Approximately 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and millions more may suffer from it
Main Causes: Obstructed airway, causing strained or blocked breathing, which can happen more than 100 times each hour
Symptoms: Daytime sleepiness, heavy snoring/gasping, increased irritability and cognitive impairment
Side Effects: Increased risk for chronic and life-threatening conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular problems, poorer glucose control and stroke

Hypersomnia

Occurence: Narcolepsy alone affects approximately 200,000 Americans
Main Causes: Brain’s inability to regulate sleep cycles
Symptoms: Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and tendency to fall asleep suddenly and involuntarily
Side Effects: While symptoms may only last a few minutes, in extreme cases those who suffer from narcolepsy may be prone to falls and injury

SLEEP-RELATED MOVEMENT DISORDERS

Occurence: Restless Leg Syndrome affects approximately 8% of American adults
Main Causes: Neurologic sensorimotor disorder
Symptoms: Feelings of “pins and needle” or “crawling” skin that causes an irresistible urge to move when sleeping
Side Effects: Fatigue and sleep deprivation

Bruxism

Occurence: Affects approximately 5% of people
Main Causes: Movement disorder thought to be triggered by emotional stress or genetic factors
Symptoms: Grinding or clenching your teeth at night
Side Effects: Dental pain or damage, facial pain, headaches, earaches or disturbed sleep