During sleep we undergo waves of R.E.M. (rapid eye movements) and differing states of consciousness that scientists sometimes refer to as sleep cycles. These can vary depending on amount of time sleeping, physical and mental health, and for each person.
Typically, N.R.E.M. (non-rapid eye movement) sleep begins with fifteen minutes where eyes are closed and brain activity is still ‘alert’ and we can easily be awoken. The next half hour our heart beat slows, body temperature cools and we begin to enter into deeper sleep. Our brain waves become wider and less alert. We finally enter into deep sleep where the body undergoes self-repair.
During R.E.M. sleep, which we weave in and out of during most sleep sessions. These initially are rather short (10-15 minutes) but typically become longer towards the end of sleep around an hour). This is where narrative-based dreaming occurs and where our psyche undergoes self-repair the way our bodies do during N.R.E.M. sleep cycles.
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