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Sleep Cycles

Typical late-evening routines that end with sleep usually begin with a tired feeling and a habitual unwinding of daily activities and emotions. Assuming the presence of a comfortable bed and environment, most people fall asleep within 20 minutes.

The initial sleep phase sequence is as follows.

  • a relatively short period of non-REM light sleep
  • a relatively long period of non-REM deep sleep
  • a relatively short period (again) of non-REM light sleep
  • a very short period of REM sleep

Then the sequence restarts, sometimes after a very short transition to wakefulness. The sequence repeats 4 to 5 times during the night before the final morning wakeup. A single sequence, known as a sleep cycle, may last from 90 to 120 minutes.

The relative proportion of non-REM and REM sleep changes as the night progresses. Deep non-REM sleep predominates initially, but by the end of the night extended periods of REM sleep prevail. Non-REM sleep during the second half of the night is mostly light, mainly non-REM stage 2.

How Will SleepRate Help You?

Use SleepRate for a few days to identify sleep-wake patterns and to measure sleep duration, efficiency and structure. If those measurements suggest a condition that warrants further investigation, you’ll be prompted to consult a physician for an in-depth sleep evaluation.

Find out more about SleepRate. Or, if you’re ready to purchase a SleepRate package, start here.


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