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 SleepScore, you’ll be able to track your sleep cycles and use fact-based insights and ultra-personalized guidance to improve your 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.
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.
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. During REM sleep you process the emotional experiences of the day and prepare for upcoming challenges, which greatly impacts your emotional well-being. This stage is more prominent in the later cycles.
While preparing for bed, your body starts in a state of wake as you enter early onset into the light sleep stage. As you continue into your sleep cycle, you enter brief stages of wake 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 to become more sensitive to short periods of wake.
Good sleep hygiene means creating bedtime habits that allow you to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. With some effort and consistency, you can train your body to fall asleep and wake up within the same 20-minute window every day.
Exercising during the day can result in extra sleep at night. However, when you exercise too close to bedtime, your body temperature rises, and you may feel too geared up to fall asleep easily. Give your body a sufficient time window to wind down before bed.
Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and food intake within hours of bedtime can stimulate your body and disrupt your sleep.
Stress can make both your body and mind feel more alert. Unwind with activities that help you disconnect and relax.
Your sleeping environment should feel cool and comfortable. The optimal temperature range for sleep is between 60o and 68o but make sure you are comfortable in bed.
Keep your bedroom dark and turn off or dim electronics that emit light.