New study may have implications for millions in search of the elusive “good night’s sleep”
In movies and novels alike, much is made of the stage of sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM), since this is the phase of slumber in which dreams (good, bad, exotic) occur. Among the medical community, there is an increased appreciation for what is called “slow-wave” sleep, (also known as deep or delta-wave sleep), because this fourth stage of sleep can be difficult to attain. If one is awakened during the first three stages of sleep, they must repeat these stages again before reaching fourth stage or “delta-wave,” sleep.
Once this latter stage is reached, muscles are relaxed, blood pressure drops, and the pulse and breathing are slower. According to the Sleep Research Center, other benefits to the body are accrued during slow-wave sleep, including: an increase of blood supply to the body; a decrease in body temperature thus preserving energy; a lowering of metabolic activity enabling tissue repair and growth; an increase of natural immune-system modulators; and a period in which the growth hormone secretions reach their peak, thus stimulating body growth and development.
Donna Krupa | APS
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