The longer that you go without a proper sleep routine and without having sufficient
amounts of sleep, the more likely it is that you are going to then start suffering with
sleep related problems.
E.E.G. recordings show that we go through five stages of sleep, with each of its
characteristic brain activities. So, it’s all got its own individual brain activity. Stage one
is the transition stage from wakefulness to sleep and is identified with beta waves and
lasts between one to seven minutes.
In stage two E.E.G. recordings show fast frequency bursts of activity called sleep
spindles. In stage two through to four, muscle tension, heart rate, respiration and
temperature gradually decline and it becomes more difficult to be awakened. Just thirty
minutes after falling asleep, we pass through Stage three and enter into Stage four. In
this stage E.E.G. recordings show delta waves and it is the deepest stage of sleep. There
is marked secretion of growth hormones in Stage four.
Sleep researchers determine what sleep stage a person is in by the ratio between the
number of sleep spindles and the number of delta waves. After this stage we go back to
two and then we enter REM Sleep, the rapid eye movement sleep. Here E.E.G. tracings
look exactly the same as the beta waves that are observed when we are completely
awake. In fact, brain imaging studies show that the neurones in the cerebral cortex
become much more active during our REM Sleep and REM Sleep makes up twenty percent
of our sleep time. During this stage we experience vivid dreams. We go through this
sleep cycle five to six times during eight hours of sleep.
It’s also true that lots of you will kind of come out of that sleep cycle and actually be
almost awake or even awake throughout the night but you go back off to sleep again so
quickly that by the morning you forget it even happened. Other people are more aware
that they wake up several times throughout the night and for me personally, I’m
someone who when I’m asleep, I am asleep. It feels like I sleep for about five minutes
and then the alarm goes off, even though it might have been several hours and I have no
recollection of ever having woken at any stage during the night.
Some animals have really interesting sleep cycles. Some birds sleep for brief periods
with one eye closed and for that short moment it’s suggested that one hemisphere of
their brain shows waves that indicate sleeping and the other side shows signs of
wakefulness. Elephants sleep for three to six hours of which two hours are spent
standing. Dolphins sleep with only half its brain while the other half remains alert. The
two hemispheres alternate every one to three hours during sleep. Dolphins kept in
aquariums usually swim in circles in the same direction during sleep. There is no solid
evidence of whether animals dream, which brings us to the dream world of human
So what kind of sleeper are you?
If you are suffering from insomnia or other sleep related problems, it might be time to
use hypnotherapy to reprogram your sleep patterns.
The Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic provides Hypnotherapists and NLP coaches in
Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Coventry to help with the
management of stress, anxiety and depression.
For more information about our free consultations and sessions, contact us on 0203
By Gemma Bailey