Sleep is an essential function that has wide ranging benefits. While science does not fully understand what happens when we sleep, we do know that getting enough sleep can have a variety of positive effects on both the body and the mind.

Good sleepers tend to experience:
– Improved memory, focus, and productivity
– Increased mood
– Decreased stress
– Smaller appetite + better weight control
– Enhanced athletic performance
– Lowered risk of heart disease and stroke
– Lower incidence of depression and anxiety
– Boosted immune system

If you are one of the many who don’t get enough quality sleep, being more intentional about improving your sleep can have outsized benefits.

There are 4 stages of sleep.

Stage 1: Transition between being awake and being asleep.

Stage 2: Light sleep period.

Stage 3: Deep periods of sleep.

REM Sleep: Dreaming.

Humans cycle through the different stages while asleep. In general, the deeper stages of sleep (stage 3 & REM) are more restorative. It’s important to not only get a specific amount of sleep but also enough quality deep sleep. If you are waking up often, then you may be spending a lot of sleep time in stages 1 & 2, which is less restorative.