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The Stages of Sleep

White crescent moon against a navy sky during the night, when most people sleep

At Dental Solutions of Columbus, we work hard to provide quality oral care to all of our patients. Not only does this mean caring for your teeth and gums, but this also means caring for your airway and helping to spot and treat sleep disorders. Our well-qualified team is trained to help patients who experience symptoms of sleep apnea, because we know that a quality night’s sleep is integral to good health.

Your Body Rests & Heals Itself During Sleep

Today, we want to discuss the different stages of sleep to give you a better understanding of how your body rests and heals itself while you’re dreaming. You may think that your body simply enters a state of rest while you’re sleeping, but you actually cycle through four stages of non-REM sleep and one stage of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep each night.

Stage 1

The first stage is the period where you’re drifting off to sleep. Your brain waves, your heart rate, and your breathing slow down. You may have the sensation that you’re drifting in and out of sleep, or that you haven’t gotten any rest.

Stage 2

The line between Stage 1 and Stage 2 sleep is usually a little blurry, but the transition usually occurs about ten minutes after entering Stage 1. Your brain waves continue to lengthen and your heart rate and breathing slow even further. The bulk of your sleep is spent in Stage 2, as you cycle in and out of it multiple times throughout the night.

Stage 3

Stage 3 sleep is the first stage of deep sleep. Your brain produces delta waves, which are the slowest waves it creates. In Stage 3, it is difficult to wake someone up. If roused from Stage 3 sleep, folks are often groggy and disoriented.

Stage 4

Stage 4 is an even deeper level of sleep than Stage 3. Your body’s breathing, heart rate, and brain waves slow even further. For those who experience night terrors, talk in their sleep, or wet the bed, these disturbances tend to occur in Stage 3 and 4.

REM Sleep

If you’re dreaming, you’re in the REM sleep stage. Your breathing and heart rate increase, while your brain waves appear similar to waking ones. During this stage, your muscles are paralyzed to keep you from acting out your dreams.

Reach Out to Our Expert Team!

We hope this helps you understand the different stages your body cycles through during a good night’s rest! To ask our team any questions about sleep disorders or to schedule your next dental visit, contact us today.

Dental Solutions of Columbus

Dental Solutions of Columbus