We all look forward to going to sleep every night, but have you ever wondered what exactly goes on in your body when you head to bed? Here are some interesting facts about sleep to daydream about.
Most of the time, you aren’t sleeping deeply
You go through different sleep cycles from the minute your head hits the pillow. When you first doze off, you are in a light sleep mode, then go deeper into non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. The deepest of NREM sleep happens when we are dreaming and creates especially vivid dreams. However, the entire seven-cycle sleep process only takes between 90 and 120 minutes, and then it starts all over again.
Your brain takes out the garbage of the day
Even though your brain is busy while you sleep, it uses your sleep time to refresh itself. Many scientists believe that when a person dreams, the brain is processing the information from the previous day and filtering it out, which is why we dream in order to distract ourselves from everything that is going on. Not only that, but your brain is busy cementing new memories when you are sleeping, which may be the reason why we dream about recent things that have happened in our lives.
You cannot move
Surprisingly enough, when you are in the deepest stages of REM sleep, you are paralyzed and cannot move a muscle, besides your eyes. This is the body’s defense mechanism against acting out your weirdest dreams and can last for up to 20 minutes.
Your sleep can betray you
Sleep apnea, which is when a person stops breathing during the night, can be especially dangerous. In fact, during the average night’s sleep, those with obstructive sleep apnea may experience up to 60 apneas per hour. Once tested with a home sleep test, one of the most effective treatments is to sleep with a nasal CPAP mask that uses pressurized air to open up your airways so you can breathe normally. CPAP machines are prescribed by your doctor and must be worn every day.
Who knew sleeping could be so interesting? Here is some food for thought the next time your head hits the pillow!