The cycle of sleep difficulties
Stages of sleep
Non-rapid eye movement (NREM)
Stage 1, light sleep- Easily woken as you begin to lose muscle tone, causing twitching and jerking.
Stage 2, light sleep- Dreamless stage of sleep and loss of most muscle tone as your body starts to relax.
stage 3, Deep sleep- Dreamless stage of sleep.
Stage 4, Deep sleep- This stage of deep sleep replenishes your energy both physically and mentally.
Rapid eye movement sleep (REM)
REM marks the onset of dreaming. REM is important for healthy brain function for many reasons, including helping to retain long term memories. If you are woken from REM sleep you’ll dive straight back into this stage when you return to sleep.
5 Sleep tips
1) Try a light snack 1-hr before bed:
Hot chocolate, foods high in tryptophan (Turkey/Banana), non-caffeinated herbal tea such as camomile or passionflower.
2) Relaxation techniques:
Yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, stretching.
3) Hot shower before bed; As your body temperature cools it brings in a state of drowsiness.
4) Aromatherapy such as lavender oil or rosemary scent on your pillow.
5) Get into your favourite sleeping position; close your eyes and block out all background noise. Clean bed linen and blacked out curtains or eye mask can also help.
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