What is Sleep?

Sleep is great! It feels good and we do it everyday, but what is it? And why do we need it?

So what is sleep?

Sleep is a strange thing we do and theres a lot that scientists are still trying to find out about sleep!

When we sleep we go unconscious, which means we don’t really know what’s happening around us anymore. Although we go to sleep parts of our body and brain stay awake.

For example, your brain is not registering the world around you like it would while you’re awake but it is still making you breathe, keeping your heart beating and even making you dream!

Embed from Getty Images

How does sleep work?

There’s a lot we still don’t know about sleep but we do know that it happens in stages.

These stages repeat many times during the night which is why a lot of people call it a ‘sleep cycle’.

Stage 1

This stage is very short and only lasts a few minutes.

It’s the stage in which we go from awake to asleep.

Your heartbeat, breathing and eye movements get slower and your muscles start to relax.

Sometimes your muscles might twitch in this stage too!

Stage 2

In this stage your sleep is still light.

Your heartbeat and breathing slow down even more while your muscles relax even more.

Your body temperature drops in this stage and your eye’s stop moving all together.

Stage 3

This is deep sleep. This is what our body needs in order to feel nice and refreshed in the morning.

Your heartbeat and breathing both slow to their slowest rate of all during your sleep.

It can be really hard for someone to wake you up when your in thsi stage of sleep.

Stage 4

This stage is called ‘REM sleep’.

REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and we call it this because in this stage your eyes move really fast from side to side behind your eyelids.

Your breathing gets faster and and your heart beat gets faster, it nearly gets as fast as it is when you’re awake.

This is the stage when you dream the most. In fact, your arms and legs are paralysed in this stage so that you don’t start punching or kicking while you’re asleep!

Why do we dream?

Scientists don’t really know why we dream but it might be something to do with helping you process emotions. They think this is why dreams often reflect on what you’ve been doing and feeling during the day.

Tell me a cool fact about sleep!

Some people dream in colour while others dream in black and white!

Embed from Getty Images

Listen to Fun Kids Naps

For those moments when you just need to chill after playtime

Click here to listen

Add a comment