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Understanding the Different Stages of Sleep

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Sleep is essential to maintain good health. While the CDC recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, the type of sleep is also important, meaning that the sleep cycle enters all the four stages NREM sleep and REM sleep. This image shows what this looks like.

Stage One: Drowsiness

Joanna Saisan MSW, Tina de Benedictis, Ph.D., Suzanne Barston, and Robert Segal, M.A., authors of the article “Understanding Sleep: Deep Sleep, REM Sleep, Cycles, Stages, and Needs,” state that the first stage of sleep, or drowsiness, lasts between five and ten minutes. During stage one, the person can be awakened without much effort; it becomes more difficult in the later stages of sleep. Eye movement is minimal, as there is less muscle activity. The University of Washington adds that the EEG rate for stage one sleep is 6-8 Hz, which is a low amplitude; in comparison, the EEG rate for the waking stage is 8-25 Hz, which also has a low amplitude. Stage one is the first stage of NREM sleep, or non-rapid eye movement sleep.

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