Health Tips

Stages of sleep: understanding the circadian cycle and its effects on sleep quality

Write the 01/03/2024 by Santarome Bio

Sleep is a complex process made up of different stages that are part of a cycle called the circadian cycle. This cycle, lasting approximately 24 hours, is regulated by our internal biological clock and greatly influences the quality of our sleep. At the start of the night, we enter a phase of light sleep , where we are easily awakened. Then, sleep gradually becomes deeper , promoting physical recovery. The final phase, REM sleep , is associated with dreams and intense brain activity.

Disruptions in this cycle, such as jet lag, can affect sleep quality. The inclusion of food supplements can sometimes help improve the quality of sleep by supporting the optimal functioning of the nervous system.


What is the Circadian cycle?

The circadian cycle is a biological rhythm that regulates various physiological processes in living things, including sleep, body temperature, hormone secretion, and alertness. This cycle is primarily influenced by environmental cues, with daylight playing a central role in its regulation. Indeed, exposure to natural light during the day helps to synchronize the internal biological clock.

Other factors affect the circadian cycle , such as body temperature and eating habits. A higher temperature during the day promotes wakefulness, while a lower temperature at night prepares the body for rest. Meals, for their part, can influence the production of certain hormones and thus modulate energy and appetite depending on the time of day.

Disruption of the circadian cycle is often linked to:

  • Irregular sleep schedules,

  • Inappropriate exposure to light,

  • Disturbed eating habits.

Sleep disorders can cause problems concentrating but also alter your mood. Therefore, respecting and maintaining a regular circadian cycle is important to promote physiological balance and contribute to well-being.

Understanding the stages of sleep

Sleep is a complex process that is divided into several phases, each playing a role in physical and mental recovery. It all starts with falling asleep , where the body gradually relaxes and the mind calms down. This first phase leads to light sleep , characterized by less brain activity and sensitivity to external stimuli.

Deep sleep follows, marked by slow brain waves and intensive cellular regeneration. It is during this phase that the body repairs itself and strengthens the immune system. Finally, comes the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase, associated with dreams and intense brain activity. This last step is important for memory consolidation and emotional regulation.

A complete cycle, from falling asleep to the REM phase, lasts on average 90 to 110 minutes. The recommended duration varies by age: infants need more REM sleep, adolescents prefer deep sleep, while adults alternate between all phases. Respecting these cycles and recommended sleep hours is essential to maintaining optimal mental and physical health.

If you want to know more on the subject, continue reading with: How many hours should you sleep to be in good shape?

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The importance of respecting the circadian cycle for better quality of sleep

The circadian cycle directly influences paradoxical sleep (REM) and deep sleep, two essential phases for physical and mental recovery. A disruption of this cycle can lead to:

  • Difficulty falling asleep,

  • Frequent nocturnal awakenings,

  • An alteration in the quality of sleep.

Studies have shown that circadian cycle disruptions are associated with sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

Failure to respect the circadian cycle can also impact the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone . By disrupting the secretion of this hormone, the body can lose its ability to naturally regulate the sleep-wake rhythm, leading to chronic sleep problems.

Habits to adopt to improve the quality of your sleep

To improve the quality of your sleep, creating an environment conducive to rest is essential. In the bedroom, favor total darkness by using blackout curtains and eliminate light sources such as screens. Maintain a temperature around 18°C, and ensure optimal comfort with a suitable mattress and pillows.

At the same time, the use of food supplements can be beneficial. Somnifor 4 ACTIONS from Santarome are tablets of melatonin and plant extracts such as valerian and passionflower, known for their soothing properties. These ingredients promote relaxation, which can help you fall asleep more easily. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplement, particularly to avoid possible interactions with other medications.

Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine a few hours before bed, and engage in relaxing activities, such as reading or meditation. Limit the use of electronic screens before bed, as blue light can disrupt the natural sleep cycle.

Understanding the stages of sleep and the circadian cycle is essential to improving the quality of our rest. By following the different phases of sleep, from light sleep to deep sleep, we can better understand the importance of respecting our natural biological rhythm. The circadian cycle, regulated by our internal clock, directly influences our well-being by impacting the quality of sleep. By adjusting our daily habits to be in tune with this cycle, we promote more restful sleep.


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