Everybody sleeps it is a normal human occurrence that has to happen daily for daily function to be possible. In this article I will talk to you about the five stages of sleep and the health risks that can occur when too little sleep happens.

Sleeping is a natural occurrence and not often thought about by the masses and many are unaware that we even have stages of sleep which is why I feel compelled to tell you all about it.

The first four stages can be easily explained as non-REM sleep however the fifth stage of sleeps goes under a whole different category.

Before we go any further I would like to explain to you the meaning of REM which stands for rapid eye movement.

Health organizations have under extensive research found that the lack of sleep can cause severe consequences for productivity, health and cognitive function and a lack of sleep can disrupt the circadian rhythm.

The five stages of sleep

Stage one of sleep: This stage of sleep is the proses of wakefulness into sleep. In this stage of sleep you will find that your breathing will start slowing down, your muscles will become less active and your heart rate will decrease.  In the first sage of sleep waking is still very easy especially with disturbances such as light and or sound.

Stage two of sleep: This stage of sleep is a little bit more complicated than the first and in this stage of sleep eye movement will cease. Your breathing will slow down some more causing it to be more regular. Your body temperature will also slowly start to decrease and your heart rate will continue to decrease and or slower. In stage two of sleep rapid brain waves will occur also known as sleep spindles. It still remains relatively easy for a person to wake in stage two of sleep however this is the transition from light sleep to deep sleep where restorative work will take place.

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Stage three and four of sleep: These two stages of sleep go together as it is known as deep restorative sleep. This is the deep sleep cycle where restoration and brain maintenance take place. Your body temperature will be at its lowest, your heart rate at its slowest and breathing at its deepest. It will not be so easy to wake someone in this stage of sleep as it is where a person falls into a deep sleep. In this state of sleep is where physical healing, detoxification of the brain and re-energizing of the immune system will take place.

Stage five of sleep:  Now please keep in mind that this stage of sleep gets a whole category of its own why you ask well this stage of sleep is the REM stage of sleep. What is the REM stage of sleep you wonder? Well here is an explanation: In this state of sleep the brain is as active as when awake. Breathing can be rapid and or slow in this state of sleep and plenty eye movement will occur however movement will still be restricted apart from the occasional twitch. The fifth stage of sleep is also known as the dreaming stage as dreaming takes place at this stage of sleep. The REM stage of sleep is also known as memory consolidation.

Now that you know what the stages of sleep are and how they work please also know that the sleep stages and or cycles can repeat at about four to six times per normal sleep cycle.

Also take note that the healthy amount of sleep ranges between seven to nine hours of sleep.

The health risks lack of sleep brings

I am sure many are aware of the minor things lack of sleep causes such as drowsiness, lack of concentration, mood and many more but after doing some research I found that a lack of sleep can be linked to more severe health risk such as Colon cancer, diabetes, depression and traffic safety.  Which I would like to explain better.

Colon Cancer: Studies have found that less than 6 hours of sleep can open you up to the risk of colon cancer by 50%. There is believed that less sleep leads to less production of the hormone called Melatonin which helps DNA repair itself. Another theory stated by doctors is that insulin resistance may also be the link between sleep disturbances and cancer development.

Diabetes: Researchers have found that people that have less sleep than recommended reduces the hormone called Lepton that tells us when to stop eating. Staying awake longer causes you to eat more than what your body needs therefor are leading you to higher risk of diabetes.

Heart disease: Studies believe that a lack of sleep can cause your blood pressure to rise. A lack of sleep may also cause a person to pump extra stress hormones when they were not needed and can also raise blood sugar levels all impacting our hart negatively.

Depression: This is a pretty obvious health concern in my opinion it has always been a known fact that less sleep can affect our mood. Sleep and moods are regulated by the same hormones so when you sleep too little you can develop depression.

Traffic safety: A lack of sleep will for sure cause difficulty concentrating and may cause drowsiness leading to a decrease in reactions making driving an immediate danger. Falling asleep behind the wheel is a possibility.


It is really obvious to me that our sleeping patterns affect us much more than what we give it a second thought to and sleeping is in fact a very complex and important thing contributing to our overall health , safety and or well-being .

It is clear to me that the human body needs the correct amount of sleep to function at our full potential and sleeping may even help minimizing some health risks.

I hope that by writing this article you have learned something new and understand the importance of enough sleep much better.