How does sleep work? 💤

Sam M
5 min readAug 22, 2023

I’d say that most people in the world know that sleep is important, but they might not know exactly why sleep is so crucial for living a good, healthy life. You might also be unaware of some of the dangerous health risks that come associated with poor sleep.

In this article, I want to go deeper into sleep; how it works, why it’s important and how you can benefit the most from good sleep.

This article is inspired by;

Photo by Fabian Oelkers on Unsplash

Sleep & Wake Cycle ☀️ 🌑

Our body is governed by several internal clocks, called the circadian clocks. These clocks have cycles of approximately 24 hours, and this rhythm is named the circadian rhythm. The clocks are regulated by multiple factors, including light, darkness, and sleep schedules.

The circadian rhythm affects almost every part of your body. From cells to organs and tissues. Being out-of-sync with your body clock and rhythm can lead to a higher risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, neurodegenerative disorders, skin issues, and more. These are all things that are preventable if being healthy.

The central circadian clock is located in the brain, and the others are distributed in organs around the body.

The Sleep Cycle 😴

The sleep cycle has two major different stages that most of you are aware of; REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is also known as deep sleep.

Non-REM Sleep

Non-REM sleep has three stages, defined by measurements of brain activity taken in sleep studies.

  • Stage 1. This stage is the transition between wakefulness and sleep.
  • Stage 2. When you reach stage 2, you are asleep.
  • Stage 3. This stage is called deep sleep or slow-wave sleep, after a particular pattern that appears in measurements of brain activity. You usually spend more time in this stage early in the night.

REM sleep

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Sam M

happiness in all areas of life. student 👨🏻‍🎓