BEFORE YOU CAN FALL ASLEEP, your brain and your body both need to be ready for sleep. But instead of being able to unwind and slip into sleep mode easily, your head may be a buzz with ideas, thoughts, worries, concerns, or memories.
Or perhaps you feel like you’ve got a clear head, but for some annoying reason your body is just out of sync, and you feel so restless and can’t get comfortable in your bed, tossing and turning …on your back, laying on your right side, then the left, flipping the pillow trying to find the sweet spot?
DURING A NORMAL ‘8 HOUR SLEEP CYCLE’ your sleep pattern is divided up into separate cycles, where you will drift from light sleep down into deep sleep and then back into light sleep again.
Many people wrongly believe that you go through a repeating sleep cycle during the night. But as you can see from the diagram, you experience different stages of sleep at different parts of the sleep cycle. Your sleep is generally much deeper during the early part of the cycle, and it gradually gets lighter as you get closer to waking.
As you reach the top of each sleep cycle you enter a state known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement), where your brain is very close to waking.
It’s at the top of each sleep cycle during REM that most people will shift around a bit and turn over in the bed, but then settle and drift back down again into deeper sleep. If you wake up during the night, it will usually be around the time you have entered this REM state.
If you suffer from insomnia and erratic sleep behavior, your sleep cycle will be very irregular, and in most cases you… Read more…