January 06, 2021 2 min read

Whoop, Fit Bit, Garmin, Apple Watch - whatever you are wearing, it is most likely that it is tracking your sleep for you too.


But what are the 4 stages of sleep and what does the data mean? 

 

4 Stages of Sleep.


Light Sleep.

  • Minimal restorative impact.
  • When your body is the most responsive.

Deep Sleep (Slow Wave Sleep - SWS).

  • Physically restorative. 
  • Muscle & Tissue repair happens during this period and 95% of your Human Growth Hormones (HGH) are produced during this time.
  • Additionally, deep sleep helps strengthen the immune system,stimulate blood flow, and support in balancing your metabolism and blood sugar levels.

REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movement). 

  • Mentally Restorative. 
  • Short term memories become long term memories. 
  • Consolidation and retention of the skills that were learned.

Awake.

  • Brief periods of arousal/disturbances while sleeping.
  • Lasting only minutes, common for 10-20 over the night.


How much of each stage should I be getting?

Like most things in the health area a general guide is given as a starting point as each person is different and needs can vary.

Your total sleep time each night should be broken down, roughly following the percentages below:

  • Light - 50%
  • REM - 22%
  • Deep (SWS) - 23%
  • Awake - 5%

What holds back SWS/Deep Sleep?

  • Stress
  • Electronics use in the bedroom
  • Excessive alcohol, sugar or caffeine consumption before bed

The information above in this post has been summarised from the many resourceful articles on theWHOOP website.


How do I improve my sleep performance?

Sleep hygiene is the best way to improve your quality of sleep.

Follow these 7 simple sleep hacks to improve your sleep and recovery

  • BLACK OUT YOUR BEDROOM
  • COOL IT DOWN
  • DIM YOUR LIGHTS
  • YOUR PHONE - USE THE FUNCTIONS!
  • LIMIT SCREEN TIME BEFORE SLEEP
  • SLEEP TIMING - ROUTINE
  • LIMIT CAFFEINE AFTER 2PM

Find out how to easily implement these 7 quick hacks!

Yelana Jennings
Yelana Jennings


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