Getting enough hours of sleep each night is important for your health, but hours alone don't make for a good night's rest. Your sleep quality matters as well, and part of good sleep quality involves moving properly through all the stages of sleep. There are a number of habits that caninterrupt your sleep cycle, and some are so unsuspecting, you might not even realize you're doing them.
"Sleep is not a single 'shut-down' state," Dr. Roy Raymann, resident sleep expert & VP of Sleep Science & Scientific Affairs at SleepScore Labs, tells Bustle. "During sleep, your brain body is active at different levels."
First, your body starts with transitioning from being awake to light sleep, a stage where it's still easy to wake up. Gradually, you move on to a deeper and more restorative sleep, where it is harder to be aroused. Finally, you progress into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, where most of your dreams occur.
"This journey (wake-light-deep-REM) is considered a sleep cycle and takes approximately 90 minutes," Dr. Raymann says. "Then the process repeats again, and throughout a night of 7.5 hours, you most ideally would go through five sleep cycles."
Disrupting your sleep cycle at any given stage causes your body will start a new cycle again. "Although all stages in a cycle are important, the most health and wellbeing benefits have been related to Deep and REM sleep, so it is important to progress through the sleep cycle to get to these stages to get the benefit."