What Happens To The Mind & Body When We Sleep?

Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. But, why do we need to sleep so much? What actually happens when we slip into a slumber?

What Happens When We’re Asleep?

There are four stages of sleep, and we cycle through them during the night. Each cycle lasts varying amounts of time throughout the night, usually from 70-120 minutes, where it will then repeat. 

Stage 1  - Falling Asleep

This is the very beginning of sleep. Your brain waves, heart rate, and eye movements slow down. You are starting to tune out stimuli around you to help you sleep. This stage can last anywhere from 1-7 minutes.

Stage 2 – Light Sleep

Your body temperature gets lower, eye movements stop, heart rate continues to slow, and muscles relax. We spend more time in this stage of sleep than any other, about 45% of our sleep time. This stage plays an important role in synaptic plasticity (reorganising and optimising) and memory functioning.

Stage 3 – Deep Sleep

Your eyes and muscles are motionless and brain waves slow. This stage of sleep is known as slow-wave sleep. This is our deepest sleep of the night and makes up 25% of the time we are asleep. We are hardest to awaken during this stage of sleep, and if we are woken, we will feel groggy and have reduced mental and physical functions for anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes. 

During this deep sleep, our bodies repair and grow tissue, build bone and muscle, and boost our immune systems by creating cytokines and building antibodies and immune cells.

Stage 4 – REM Sleep

This stage gets its name, REM, from the rapid eye movement characteristic of this stage. Your brain waves are very active, almost as active as when you’re awake. Heart rate and breathing also increase again.

We can dream in other stages of sleep, but we usually have wilder dreams during REM sleep. This is another stage of sleep important for memory as well as information processing. We usually spend 25% of the night in REM sleep.

Impacts of Sleep

Scientists are still learning about sleep, but so far, they have determined that it impacts body functioning in many ways.

Repair & Growth: Our bodies’ total energy use drops, helping the mind and body slow down and focus on repair and growth.

Emotional Health: Sleep stimulates several parts of the brain that impact our emotional health, the amygdala, hippocampus, striatum, insula, and medial prefrontal cortex. Simply put, sleep helps to keep your emotions in balance.

Focus: Sleep can contribute towards our ability to focus and concentrate. A good night’s rest can make it easier to retain information, form long-lasting memories and channel our creativity.

Achieve More Restful Sleep

CBD oil works with your body’s natural functions to encourage a good night’s sleep. If you’re wondering where to start, look at our collection of CBD for sleep essentials. We offer oil tinctures, roll-ons, and pillow mists that are as effective as they are luxurious to use.