What are the sleep stages and how can you better your sleep?

Many experts say good sleep correlates to good health and in our eyes that couldn’t be more accurate. Sleep is probably one of the most important daily activities that an individual partakes in, as it essentially is what keeps us recharged and ready for the day ahead. If an individual does not get the required amount of quality sleep the body is not able to recharge and can leave you feeling moody, easily irritated, experience trouble focusing, make mistakes due to lack of concentration and have a high craving for unhealthy foods which can lead to weight gain.

Stages of sleep

Sleep has four main important stages which includes three stages in a state of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM):

NREM Stage 1

Within NREM, the first stage of sleep is when the individual often drifts in and out of consciousness, this means they are still partially awake and are easily prone to being woken up. In this stage, a person may experience hypnic jerks. This occurs when individuals experience themselves falling or tripping and then suddenly wake up. Nearly everyone experiences this once in their lifetime.

Stage 2

In the second stage of NREM, it is much harder to be woken, as the brain waves continue to slow down, and we experience a decrease in body temperature and heart rate.

Stage 3

The third stage of NREM is the deepest sleep stage, which leaves the chance of waking up slim to none. During this stage, parasomnias also occur, which includes experiences such as sleepwalking, sleep talking, and night terrors.


When we fall into a sleep classified as REM, individuals will tend to experience rapid eye movements whilst temporarily having their muscles and limbs paralysed. Interestingly during this stage people will often do most of their dreaming. During the REM stage, the eyes are not constantly moving but they will often move up and down possibly in response to visuals in a dream.

When sleeping, it is absolutely vital for an individual to undergo all of these stages, as they are essential to getting a good night’s sleep and ensuring the body is adequately rested and restored for the next day. If you are experiencing troubles falling asleep or accomplishing this amount of quality sleep it would be recommended to visit your local pharmacist.

Adam Shakespeare