Most people never think about sleep cycles until they begin feeling the impact of not getting an adequate amount of sleep. In fact, there are some people who only know of REM sleep because they hear about it in movies, read about it in books, or watch shows on television that mention it. However, they have little knowledge of what it means or how different sleep cycles impact their mental and physical health and well-being.
When you sleep every night, without you even realizing it, your brain goes through five distinct sleep phases or stages: phases 1,2,3,4, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. You complete one full sleep cycle when you pass through all five stages of sleep. Passing through these stages usually takes approximately 90 minutes, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Let’s take a look at each individual stage, shall we?