If you just started using a sleep tracking device you are probably looking to understand the details of your sleep graph. Each sleep stage has different characteristics but all are essential for a good night sleep.

Types of sleep

There are two types of sleep

Each is linked to specific brain waves and different neuron activity.  During a typical night, you should cycle through all stages of non-REM and REM sleep several times. These stages differ at the start of the sleep and toward the morning, with the duration of REM sleep increasing from 10 minutes in the first cycle to up to 50 minutes in the final cycle

The sleep stages

One cycle of sleep as depicted in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10996/

Cycling through the sleep stages

Sleep stages during one night as depicted in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10996/

Some interesting observations which I have personally experience most of the nights after I started using an Oura device.

Most of the deep sleep takes place in the first part of the night. REM duration is bigger in the second part of the night. Waking-up in the morning and remembering your dreams is probably a good sign. As we age both REM and Deep sleep tend to be shorter, but anything around the 20% mark should provide a quality sleep.

The resting heart rate lowers during the night and ideally should reach at its lowest around 2-4. Atfter that body starts preparing for waking you up by producing cortisol. Being more relaxed before you go to sleep, will drop your RHR allowing you to recharge your batteries and wake-up full of energy. This is one of the key indicator of a good night sleep.

A low body temperature gives your body the signal to start relaxing. This might be counter intuative, since most people like sleeping under warm blankets, however it is best to sleep in a cool environment and around 18-20 °C.

Further reading

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