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How Long Should A Deep Sleep Cycle Last

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Why Is Rem Sleep Important

Sleep – What is Sleep – Benefits Of Deep Sleep – How Sleep Works – Sleep Cycles – Lack Of Sleep

REM sleep is important to your sleep cycle because it stimulates the areas of your brain that are essential in learning and making or retaining memories. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a study depriving rats of REM sleep significantly shortened their life span, from two or three years to five weeks. Rats deprived of all sleep cycles lived only three weeks. The importance of REM sleep, in particular, is attributed to the fact that during this phase of sleep, your brain exercises important neural connections which are key to mental and overall well-being and health.

What Is Rem Sleep

Usually, REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. Each of your later REM stages gets longer, and the final one may last up to an hour. Your heart rate and breathing quickens.

You can have intense dreams during REM sleep, since your brain is more active. REM is important because it stimulates the areas of the brain that help with learning and is associated with increased production of proteins

Babies can spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage, compared to only about 20% for adults.

Sleep Stages: Understanding Your Sleep Cycles

Many people believe the brain shuts off to rest during sleep. However, thats not necessarily the case theres more going on behind the eyelids than one may think. The brain goes through several different cycles throughout the time its sleeping.;These cycles evolve through the various stages of sleep, starting with NREM sleep and progressing to REM sleep. The typical person starts a new sleep cycle every 90 to 120 minutes, meaning they likely go through four or five cycles during a night of rest.;Here well cover the different stages of sleep, which are the most important, how much sleep one should get and how sleep changes throughout a lifetime.;

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What Is A Sleep Cycle

To put it simply, a sleep cycle is what your brain does while youre getting your zzzs. As you sleep, your brain goes through various patterns of activity. These patterns are based on distinct eye movements and muscle activity. In fact, sleep scientists have tracked these movements and found two main sleep cycle categories:;rapid-eye-movement sleep;and non-rapid-eye-movement sleep.

How To Increase Deep Sleep: 10 Tips + Benefits

Sleep Like A Pro: Whats The Deal With Deep Sleep And How ...

Deep sleep, also called slow-wave sleep, is a term used to define stage three and four of sleep. During these stages, your heart rate and breathing are at their lowest, your brain waves slow down, and your muscles and eyes relax. This is also known as the restorative phase of sleep because your body repairs tissues and strengthens its immune system.;While you sleep, you experience different stages of the sleep cycle. Deep sleep is the stage needed to wake up feeling refreshed. As we get older, the amount of deep sleep we get each night decreases. This is because our bodies are already fully developed and we dont need the same growth that children do.;To help quiet your mind and learn how to increase the amount of deep sleep you get each night, practice the tips below.

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What Happens During Deep Sleep

There are physical, psychological and physiological processes in our body which occur during deep sleep:

  • The release of growth hormone , which helps your body grow and develop when young and is still important in older ages for cell restoration and rejuvenation and tissue reparation
  • Memory consolidation and transfer from short-term into long-term memory
  • No response to external stimuli a person may be very difficult to wake up from deep sleep; if woken, they may be disoriented and feel sluggish
  • The immune system is boosted.
  • Muscles are relaxed, no eye movement.
  • Breathing slows down and heart rate and body temperature drop.
  • Energy is restored;for the following day.
  • The following;parasomnias;occur bedwetting, sleepwalking, night terrors.
  • Glucose;levels in the brain increase.
  • allows oxygen byproducts to clear our of the brain.

How Long Is A Rem Cycle

The REM stage of sleep is unique because its when you have your most vivid dreams. During your first cycle of sleep, it starts about 90 minutes after you fall asleep and last only 10 minutes. Each cycle after that, your REM sleep gets longer and longer. In the final cycle is may last up to an hour.

During your REM sleep cycle, your eyes are darting around and seeing different things. Your brain is also converting experiences into memories. Furthermore, it enhances your ability for creative problem-solving. These are all important reasons to make sure your alarm doesnt wake you up during this crucial stage of sleep.

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What Is The Difference Between Rem And Non

As you sleep at night, you cycle through periods of REM and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep occurs in three stages, and then you will enter REM sleep.

Non-REM Sleep

According to WebMD, the three phases of non-REM sleep are:

  • Phase 1: As you first drift off to sleep you are entering phase 1 of non-REM sleep. You are relaxed, but may stir or awake easily for about five to ten minutes.
  • Phase 2: Phase 2 prepares your body for deep sleep. Your heart rate and body temperature will lower as you begin to sleep lightly.
  • Phase 3: Deep sleep begins in phase 3, and you will not be easily woken up as your body works to repair tissue and bones and strengthen your immune system.

REM Sleep

REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. During this cycle of your sleep, your eyes will move and dart quickly beneath your eyelids. During REM sleep, your brain activity increases, your pulse quickens, and you have dreams. REM sleep first takes place after youve been sleeping for around 90 minutes. The first cycle usually lasts about 10 minutes, and each cycle time will increase to as long as one hour in the last phase before you awake.

How Much Rem Sleep Should You Get

How Long Should You Nap For?

Although theres no official consensus on how much REM sleep you should get, dreaming is most common during this stage. Experts believe that dreaming helps you process emotions and solidify certain memories.

For most adults, REM takes up about 20 to 25 percent of sleep, and this seems to be healthy during average sleep cycles. However, sleep research is raising some interesting questions. One recent study suggested that higher amounts of REM sleep may be associated with depression. But dont go making sudden changes in your sleep habits it is not clear which is the cause and which is the effect.

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How Much Rem Sleep Do You Need

Your first period of REM sleep each night usually occurs within 90 minutes of falling asleep, and only lasts about 10 minutes. On average youll go through 3-5 REM cycles per night, with each episode getting longer as the night progresses. The final one may last roughly an hour.

For healthy adults, spending 20-25% of your time asleep in the REM stage is a good goal. If you get 7-8 hours of sleep, around 90 minutes of that should be REM.

The normal amount of REM sleep also declines with age, beginning with infancy and extending all the way through adulthood.

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How Much Time Should You Spend in Each Stage of Sleep?

Stress And Mental Health Conditions

Stress and anxiety can cause sleep fragmentation. This may be the bodys way of preparing for danger, making it easier for a person to wake up.

The amount of sleep people need varies depending on their age. Sleep duration requirements may also vary slightly from person to person.

The provide the following recommendations for sleep duration by age group.


If a person notices that they do not feel refreshed when they wake up in the morning or that they experience frequent tiredness during the day, they may not be getting good quality sleep.

This can occur even if the person sleeps for a proper amount of time each night.

In many cases, sleep quality can improve with lifestyle changes. These include:

  • developing or maintaining a regular schedule for sleeping and waking, including on weekends
  • using the bed or bedroom only for sleep and sex, if possible
  • reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption, particularly in the evening
  • getting exposure to natural light during daytime or using a light therapy device
  • reducing exposure to blue light, such as in phones, computers, and other devices, before bed
  • making time each evening to rest and relax, avoiding sources of stress

Low sleep quality can also be a side effect of certain medications, drug or alcohol overuse, mental health conditions, hormone imbalances, and sleep disorders. If any of these is a concern, it is best to speak to a doctor.

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What Happens During Non

There are three phases of non-REM sleep. Each stage can last from 5 to 15 minutes. You go through all three phases before reaching REM sleep.

Stage 1: Your eyes are closed, but it’s easy to wake you up. This phase may last for 5 to 10 minutes.

Stage 2: You are in light sleep. Your heart rate slows and your body temperature drops. Your body is getting ready for deep sleep. This can last for 10-25 minutes.

Stages 3: This is the deep sleep stage. It’s harder to rouse you during this stage, and if someone woke you up, you would feel disoriented for a few minutes.

During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.

As you get older, you sleep more lightly and get less deep sleep. Aging is also linked to shorter time spans of sleep, although studies show you still need as much sleep as when you were younger.

How Long Does It Take To Fall Into Deep Sleep

Sleep Cycles and Deep Sleep

Have you at any point asked yourself, How Long Does It Take to Fall into Deep Sleep ? Do you wake up several times a night and can you fall into deep sleep again? All these are going to be answered in this article.

Just because you are not one of those who have trouble falling asleep, you might not think of yourself as an insomniac.

But, because you have trouble getting into a deep sleep, you wake up repeatedly at the end of the night. In the long run, this lack of deep sleep can lead to severe fatigue and increase the risk of cardiovascular, diabetes, disease, and obesity.

Nevertheless, before that do you gotta know some health benefits of deep sleep.

You will have good health benefits when you undergo deep sleep. It is featured by enhanced anabolic activity necessary for the growth of tissues, repair, and boosting the immune system.

With such benefits and with the need for good and deep sleep, some other people are now turned to forced mechanisms for deep sleep. They use medicines for sleep!

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Create A Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Stress from a busy workday or taxing afternoon with the kids can make it difficult to shut your mind off and enjoy sleep. Creating a personalized bedtime routine can help your body relax and curb any looming sleep anxiety.;Your bedtime routine should be anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes and the key is to keep your routine consistent. This will help your mind associate the routine with sleep and set you up for a productive next day.

Exercise To Promote Quality Sleep

Physical activity during waking hours can help you fall asleep more easily. However, the timing of exercise can matter. If activity tends to boost your energy levels, working out too close to bedtime can hamper your ability to doze off.

Its probably a best practice to put a 2-hour gap between the end of your workout and bedtime.

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How Long Is Each Sleep Cycle

The length of each sleep cycle will vary from person to person and changes with age. For our purposes we can say that a typical sleep cycle for an average healthy adult lasts for approximately 90 minutes. Interestingly the first sleep cycle we go through during a normal night’s sleep will last for around 120 minutes, and as the night progresses they will decrease in time and average at 90 mins.

The 4 Stages Of Sleep

What Are Sleep Cycles? – Everything You Need To Know!


Light sleep occurs as you transition to deep sleep. It has minimal restorative impact and you can be easily awakened during it. Your body is more responsive to its environment in this stage.


Deep sleep, known as the physically restorative stage of sleep, is when your muscles and tissues repair themselves and cells regenerate. The body produces 95% of human growth hormone during this time. It is often difficult to wake up during deep sleep, and when you do you are likely to feel groggy and disoriented.


REM sleep is the mentally restorative stage, during which your brain converts short-term memories made during the day into long-term ones. The brain is also very active during REM sleep , and your heart rate and respiratory rate increase. Additionally, it is when your most vivid dreams occur.


This is included as a stage of sleep because it is normal to be awake for several brief periods of time throughout the night while you are sleeping. Referred to as arousals , it is common to experience as many as 10-20 over the course of a nights sleep. They only last for minutes at a time and youre generally not conscious of them, but they can add up to significant sleep loss.

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Doze Off To Binaural Beats

;If you are the type of person that likes to doze off to music, add some binaural beats to your playlist. A binaural beat is when you hear a different tone in each ear that is slightly different in frequency. In order for a binaural beat to work, the tones have to be listened to separately through each ear and they have to have frequencies less than 1000 Hz.;Music is a great way to soothe your mind and body. To slip into a deep sleep, look for tracks with lower beats per minute. Tunes around 60 BPM include music composed of binaural beats. These types of beats have been associated with higher levels of deep sleep and relaxation.

How Do You Know How Much Rem Sleep Youre Getting

With the WHOOP Strap 3.0, you can monitor your nights sleep in detail and learn exactly how much time you spend in each stage of sleep. The WHOOP app also features a Sleep Coach that uses your own circadian rhythm to recommend daily bed and wake times to optimize the quality of your sleep.

WHOOP will let you know how much REM sleep youre getting and help give you a better understanding of what you can do to get more of it.

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How Long Should Adults Nap

Naps do not necessarily have to be a kids-only activity. In fact, there is substantial data that shows naps can actually be very beneficial for adults, when used properly.

For adults, a healthy nap–otherwise known as power nap–should be relatively short in duration. This is because of the unique architecture of sleep, specifically when it comes to sleep cycles. During healthy adult sleep, the body goes through several rotations of a full sleep cycle, each with five phases: three stages of NREM sleep, and two stages of deeper REM sleep.

Every full rotation through a five-phase sleep cycle takes approximately 90-110 minutes. When the body reaches the deeper levels of sleep, around phase 3, it releases chemicals into the bloodstream and experiences changes in electric activity in the brain that shift the body further into sleep mode. These changes help keep your body from responding to external stimuli, which normally helps you stay asleep for the night. In the context of a nap, however, going too deep into a sleep cycle and triggering those changes can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented when you wake up, since your body has already started priming you for deeper sleep.

What Are The Differences Between Rem Sleep And Deep Sleep

Sleep Cycle

Although people frequently mistake one for the other, REM and deep sleep are not the same. This table shows the main differences between these two stages of sleep.


No response a person is completely unaware of their surroundings, almost impossible to wake up

Dreams may depend on external stimuli, a person is easily woken up

After being abruptly woken up from this stage

A person is disoriented, not able to focus

A person reports being woken up from a dream

Additional Resources

  • The Four Stages Of Sleep And Sleep Cycles. Sleepline. December 8, 2018. ;Accessed December 11, 2018.
  • Cline J. The Mysterious Benefits of Deep Sleep. Psychology Today. Posted on October 11, 2010. Accessed on December 11, 2018
  • Cauter E, Leproult R, Plat L. Age-Related Changes in Slow Wave Sleep and REM Sleep and Relationship With Growth Hormone and Cortisol Levels in Healthy Men. August 16, 2000. Accessed December 11, 2018.
  • Dijk D.J. Slow-wave sleep, diabetes, and the sympathetic nervous system. January 29, 2008. Accessed December 11, 2018.
  • REM Sleep How It Works and What The Benefits Are. Sleepline. December 8, 2018. Accessed December 11, 2018.
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