A lot more goes on when you are sleeping then you would think. Instead of your body just hibernating for eight or so hours and then waking up, sleep performs many functions. As you probably know there are five stages of sleep that you routinely go through every night, not in any particular order. As you can imagine sleep apnea interrupts this process depriving you of the full affects of sleep, which are rest and important restoration of the brain and body, possibly the most important one the Rapid Eye Movement or REM.
What is REM?
According to Free dictionary dot com “REM is a stage in the normal sleep cycle during which dreams occur and the body undergoes marked changes including rapid eye movement, loss of reflexes, and increased pulse rate and brain activity. It is also called paradoxical sleep.”
A lot goes on during REM such as increased heart rate, brain activity and muscle relaxation. In this state dreaming occurs as well as memory and learning development. As you can imagine sleep apnea disrupts this stage which in turn stifles the development opportunities that occur with folks who don’t have sleep apnea. What is also interesting about the stage of REM is the body is in paralyzed state, so you wouldn’t be able to hurt yourself trying to act out dreams.
The four other stages of sleep are considered NREM or non rapid eye movement. Although dreaming is considered mostly in REM it can occur in any stage. It takes about two hours to run through all the sleep stages.
Feel free to comment and please subscribe to my RSS Feed