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The 4 Phase Sleep Cycle

sleep cycleSleep deprivation is a serious health condition that not too many people pay attention to.  Not only is sleep and getting the proper amount of rest important but delicate sleep cycle that when not achieved can create all kinds of health issues.

Phase 1 Sleep Cycle

The first phase usually occurs around sun set.  This is when the pineal gland about the size of grain of wheat releases the hormone called melatonin.  More melatonin is produced after dark or in low light.  Secretion of melatonin helps induce sleep and also has an anti-aging effect.  If you start to feel sleepy as the moonlight makes its way into the sky its largely due to increases in melatonin.

In stage one sleep your muscles will relax, your heart rate decreases and your breathing slows down.  The brain also will begin to relax but still remains quite alert.  The more rapid alpha waves are replaced by the much slower theta waves.