There are four stages of sleep:
Stage 1 is a light sleep where everything begins to slow down including your heart rate.
Stage 2 is also a light sleep which is just before you go into a deep sleep, your temperature has decreased, and your eye movements have stopped.
Stage 3 is a deep sleep where your eyes and muscles don't move at all, and your brain waves have completely slowed. This is where your body replenishes your energy and repairs cells.
Stage 4 - REM sleep which stands for "Rapid Eye Movement" your eyes will begin to move rapidly from side to side behind your eyelids. This is the stage that your brain processes and stores information. This is also the stage where you are most likely to dream.
On average we spend a third of our lives sleeping!
When we sleep it helps with learning and memory functions, forming new pathways and processing information in our brain.
If someone is sleep deprived, there will be physical changes in the way the brain functions and the individual may struggle with problem solving, controlling emotions, and retaining information. Overworked neurons cannot function to coordinate information properly and often lose their ability to access previously learned information. Sleep is the key to our brain consolidating memories from the day and prioritising information that needs to be stored.
Sleep also plays a key part in your bodies physical health as this is when your cells repair and heal. This is also the time that your body releases hormones and sort of does a full reset. Almost like taking a car in to a garage to have the oil level and water levels checked your body does its own refilling with hormones and repairing of cells like a nightly service!