There are 4 stages of Non-REM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) and a final stage of REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)
- The beginning stages of sleep prepare your body to shut down. This includes dozing off and the ability to be easily awakened by noise or thoughts.
- Deep sleep occurs in the later stages – when activity in the body is low and activity in the brain is very high.
- Stage 1 The Gateway to Sleep. It’s associated with a low arousal threshold and is the shortest duration of sleep- approximately 5%
- Stage 2 The conscious awareness of the external environment is gone. This is approximately 45% (10-15 minutes)
- Stages 3 and 4: Deep Sleep (or Delta Sleep) are the most refreshing of the sleep stages. They’re also the sleep stages during which the body releases hormones that contribute to growth and development. Brain activity is slowed, heart rate, respiration and blood pressure are lowered and it is very difficult to wake someone from this Delta sleep stage. This stage is 25%.
- Incrementally larger stimuli are needed for arousal as sleep progresses thru the 4 stages.
- REM sleep is the last stage of the sleep cycle, 20-25%, and is the stage of sleep where we have our most vivid dreams. The dreams we remember- at least for a few minutes after we wake.
- REM is not deep sleep like some think.
- During REM sleep, other physical changes take place — breathing is rapid, the heart beats faster, and the skeletal muscles are paralyzed.- maybe that is nature’s way of protecting us from acting out our dreams.
- REM sleep episodes lengthen across the night. As the stage 3 and 4 Short Wave Sleep (SWS) segments diminish in length, the REM segments increase.
Being awoken in the middle of REM sleep can cause grogginess that has the potential to last throughout the morning and even throughout the day. This explains why sometimes we sleep for eight or nine hours and still feel like we barely got any rest at all. Waking up in the beginning stages of a sleep cycle is healthy because our bodies are not yet entirely shut down.
Maybe the “light sleepers” just need to be given a chance to descend into the deep sleep stages before you practice your trumpet lessons.