Sleep 90 minutes and wake up refreshed
By Charles Hopkins
Published 09/20/2007 | Health
Well maybe not 90 minutes total but it has been found that planning
your sleep in 90 minute increments will help you get a better night
You may know that when you sleep, your body goes through five
distinct stages, of sleep. These stages last a total of about 90 to 100
minutes, they will then repeat continuously until you wake.
This stage is where you transition into wakefulness and sleep. Some
people believe that this stage only happens once, but it will happen
every time that your body enters a state of wakefulness, even if you
are not aware that you are awake and including when waking in the
morning. This stage lasts for about five minutes before you move onto
stage two. People, who suffer from insomnia or apnea, may remain in
this stage for a longer period.
The brain waves during this stage are predominantly Theta waves
but some Alpha waves also occur. Your eyes may begin to roll slowly
during this stage of sleep.
In Stage two sleep peaks of your brain waves become higher these
are called sleep spindles. The spindles can be followed by k-complexes
(where the peaks suddenly descend and then pick back up). Theta waves
can also be found in this stage. Stage two is a period of light sleep
and initially only lasts a few minutes. Gradually though, stage two
sleep increases to take most the sleep cycle. During this stage your
heart rate will slow and your body temperature will decrease as your
body prepares to enter a deep sleep.
Stages Three and Four
These two stages make up your Delta sleep and occur when you are at
the deepest sleep. These stages are longest in the first two sleep
cycles and are when your body achieves the greatest amount of
restoration. If you have not slept in a while, then this is the sleep
that your body will crave. Delta waves will be most prevalent in these
stages; however theta waves are also present. It is believed that Stage
three is extremely short and will transition into stage four very
In children, delta sleep takes up about 40% of their sleep time and it will be very difficult to wake them from this stage.
Stage four will then move to stage three and then to stage two before moving onto the next stage.
During this stage your brain becomes very active. Your eyes begin
to move rapidly from side to side, your heart rate and respiration
speed up, and your muscles (face, fingers, and legs) may twitch. Groups
of voluntary muscles may also become paralyzed during this stage and
due to increased brain activity, you may begin to hallucinate, or
dream. The first period of this stage five can last ten minutes but
this can gradually increase. Beta waves, which are in high occurrences
while awake, are most prevalent here during the sleep cycle. After
Stage five the body will usually move on to stage two.
Sleep specialists have named the first four stages as Non-REM or
NREM and the last stage as REM. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and
is named due to the increased eye movement during stage five.
Your sleep cycle is pretty variable and can be affected by stress
levels or certain medication you may take. If you are not consistent
with when you go to sleep and how long you sleep, your body might vary
the cycles during sleep or even the length of certain stages. It is
very important to stick to a schedule, such as going to sleep at
midnight and always waking up at 6AM. This is about four sleep cycles
and should be enough sleep for your body.
If you have sustained some type of injury or think you may be
coming down with a sickness, you may require more sleep, but always
make sure to try wake up during stage two sleep.
If you wake during any other stage, especially delta sleep, you will most probably feel as though you have not slept at all.