Sleep is for the STRONG


The stars are shining bright in the sky, while the crickets begin to sing their lullaby. “Finally,” you think to yourself as you look out of the window. It’s everyone’s favorite part of the day. The time where you get to lay in peace. Your bed awaits you, and you take its welcome. Your heavy eyelids are much too ponderous for you to bear. Finally, you begin to fall into a deep sleep, sinking into your pillow that was calling your name for so long.


Many people enjoy the time of night where they get to relax. Some are more fortunate than others in this case and may have a better sleep. But have you ever wondered what goes on while you are asleep? Yes, of course the monsters in your room are busy eating your toes, but what goes on in the mind and body? 


The brain is full of many wonders and mysteries, but the amount of our brain still uncovered by science is extraordinary. For example, how is it possible that we can remember something better if we study before bed rather than during the day? 


The brain can make decisions while you are asleep. Why is this? According to the article by the sciencealert staff,  “our brains can make decisions while we’re sleeping.” Our brains don’t ever shut off when we are sleeping, and our brain is always aware of its surroundings. For example, we wake up when someone calls our name, our alarm goes off, emergency situations, or hear just any loud noise. These things happen because of the different sleep stages your mind goes in such as the first and second stages of sleep. In these two stages, a person can easily be awakened. They are the two lightest stages of sleep (N1 and N2). Once someone enters these stages, they may fall into a deeper sleep, and eventually getting to the heaviest stage of sleep, REM sleep.


The different stages of sleep are the Non-rem stages of sleep which are the first, second, and third stages of sleep. “Non-rem” is a term that refers to the non dreaming points in sleep. As a person sleeps longer, the stages advance into the REM phase of sleep; or the phase of dreaming. In the first stage, the mind can easily be awakened. According to REM vs. Non-REM Sleep: The Stages of Sleep by Cari Nierenberg, “this first stage of non-REM sleep (N1), a person is making the transition from being awake to falling asleep.” The second stage of sleep (N2) is a short period of light sleep. In this stage, the waves in the brain start to slow down. After this stage comes N3 in which is very important to the body. According to Nierenberg, “N3 sleep is a period of deep sleep that is needed for an individual to feel refreshed for the next day.” She continues to explain how we spend most of the night in this stage. Finally, the last stage is REM sleep. This is the point of the night where we have been sleeping for 90 minutes. In this form of sleep ones eyes begin to move very fast back and forth. It is still unknown to why this occurs, but it is what gives us dreams?


REM sleep is often known as the dreaming stage. In this phase, the brain waves are the most active in N1 and N2. Once the mind can advance to the fourth stage of sleep, they will begin to dream. The body stays completely still in this phase, but the eyes are moving rapidly. These movements (rapid eye movements) are due to the brain activity in this stage of sleep. The specific reason behind why our eyes move rapidly when we are sleeping is not clear. It is very important to get enough sleep so that our bodies can go through this stage because it activates learning in our brains. Aside from the dreaming stage of sleep comes the next question: why is sleep so important?


Sleeping is important for several reasons: it regulates moods, restores body cells, boosts energy, and more. Sleep is in charge of recharging the brain and allows it to function in the way that it does. Many times we feel grumpy when we don’t get a full night’s rest. This is because the brain didn’t rest enough to regulate the moods in the body. Sleep can also be beneficial to the brain because it is fighting the sick cells  and recreation of the healthy ones.


We often feel like after a long night of rest we still never get enough sleep. Why is this? First of all, the reason why most people feel like they don’t get enough sleep is because they don’t. Many don’t get the hours they need to feel fully rested. Although, sometimes when we do sleep 8-10 hours we still feel like we haven’t had enough. There are many reasons behind this but one of the reasons is that people aren’t doing much physical activity. Believe it or not, doing even small

workouts can energize the body. Exercise increases your health and well-being and this gives a person more energy. Another reason why we can always feel tired is if we are depending on caffeine to wake us up. The amount of caffeine taken in delays our amount of sleep because it gives a boost of energy. 


Sleep can benefit one in so many different ways, and is something the world will always be curious about. Although we don’t yet know everything about sleep, and we may not ever, we have come far and have seen the science behind some of the questions keeping us up at night. Remember, sleep is NOT for the weak, and you need it.