What actually happens when you sleep?  

Here you will find out what actually happens during your sleep.

Written by Tom Holm - Orbitz International

I think this is a really good question to ask yourself.  

Because it is important to know what happens in our body and our brain. Above all what are the consequences or late effects of not getting enough sleep and how does it affect our health?

The answer is quite complicated, so I will be brief, but also, come to the point.

First of all you should know that there are 2 types of sleep. REM sleep, which stands for "Rapid Eye Movement". This, is the sleep when you are dreaming. Your eyes move quickly while you sleep.

In our dreams, we "look around", and when we see the eyeball moving rapidly under the closed eyelids, that person is in REM sleep.

The other type is non-REM sleep, which is your "normal" sleep. More about this later.

REM sleep

For the majority of people, REM sleep occurs about every 90 minutes during the night. Every person dreams numerous times every night.

Try to observe your partner during sleep. You may not see it right away, but with a little patience (please observe for at least 30-45 seconds, because there are also pauses between eye movements) you will be able to observe it, because we all dream every night.

During sleep so many things happen in your body in addition to all the activity in your brain.

It is interesting to know that the brain does not know what we are dreaming. However, it gives our muscles certain commands that happen in dreams.

Fortunately, just before the dream begins, a nucleus of nerve cells deep in the brain stem relaxes all our muscles so deeply that they are practically paralysed.

This means that while we sleep, the brain's commands to our muscles are not really perceived and therefore we have a deep sleep.

If, like me, you have pets like dogs or cats, then you have certainly observed their "twitches" when they sleep. Sometimes they also make noises, especially dogs. This indicates that they are dreaming.

There are people where these nerve cells do not function quite as optimally and they have a rather "stormy" sleep, throwing around with pillows, falling out of bed and sometimes getting slightly injured.

This is called: REM behavior disorder. However, this is curable.

Most people dream or have REM sleep approximately every 90 minutes. With small children it is more likely to be every 60 minutes.

Each of us dreams every night, several times. If you sleep about 6-7 hours per night, then you have dreamt at least 3 times. Of course, we forget most of our dreams and can remember very few, if any details the next morning. However, if we wake up during the night through the dream, then we can remember the dream much better and depending on certain individual factors also, we might even remember many details if not the entire dream.

The NON- Rem sleep  

The NON- Rem sleep, where we do not dream, has 2 variations.

The first is called Stage 2 and the second variation is called delta sleep, or Stage 3 and 4.

There is also a transitional phase between waking and sleeping, where certain parts of the brain sleep but others do not. This is called stage 1.

The process of falling asleep can be compared to an elevator, which has 4 floor.

  • On the second floor you have very short moments of falling asleep, lasting 1-2 minutes, but you do not fall asleep yet. When you go to the second floor, your brain starts sending certain waves called sleep spindles and K-complexes.
  • Then on the 3rd and 4th floor we finally fall asleep. This is also called delta sleep. The delta sleep, according to scientists, seems to be the most important sleep, because it allows the body to regenerate and recover the most.

Stage 1 sleep, unlike delta sleep, is practically useless when it comes to the value of sleep quality.

Without enough delta sleep every night, we feel exhausted the next morning. Nothing is broken, but nothing really works well.

REM sleep is immensely important for mental recovery, because without enough REM sleep, life makes less sense. The love for life or the FUN in order to live with its infinite beautiful, great and exciting moments is actually not really there.

Besides the activity in your brain, there is also a lot going on in the rest of your body.

During the first one and a half hours of your sleep there is a strong decrease in heart and breathing rate and a slight drop in blood pressure. After that there is a further gradual decrease in these values.

The lowest values of heart and breathing rate, blood pressure and core temperature occur about one hour before waking up.

This decrease is overlaid by increases in heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure during REM sleep.

In fact, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing can sometimes fluctuate and diverge greatly during dreams, possibly due to heart attacks and strokes that occur during sleep.

Another very interesting phenomenon is the blood circulation of the body during delta sleep. During this time most of the blood flows to the muscles.

Even though the brain can think or write thoughts during this time, it is limited to a minimum, because without enough blood, the brain cannot really function and/or create any meaningful thoughts.

Then the question arises: WHY do some people sleep better than others?

Well, because the system of WAKING SLEEP is extremely complicated, and even if you can trace insomnia through a family member, it does not mean that it is genetic or predisposed.

The only thing that is important here is to mention the following:

The weaker your Sleep System, or the stronger your Waking System, the more careful you must be with your sleep!

What is important is the total amount of QUALITY OF SLEEP that you get every night.

We can help you to find the root causes for your sleeping issues!

Please take the Quiz and find out what YOUR root causes are and how to get rid of them.

A few of our Testimonials

Very Thankful

I was finally told and shown where and what causes my insomnia. It took some time, but I finally have a deep sleep again.

W. Gonzalez

Los Angeles, CA


I would have never thought that the real causes for my sleepless nights are not in my bedroom! Thanks for giving me back my sleep!

Dorothy Adams

Orlando, FL

What a change

What a change in my life, when I finally found out what the real reason for my sleepless nights were. Thanks Orbitz.

Kimberly Turner

Oklamhoma City, OK

 Just in case you are wondering...

what would happen if you do NOT fill out this questionnaire.

You just might never find your solution to a night of healthier & better sleep.
You will most likely continue having trouble falling asleep.
You might continue waking up in the middle of the night.
You might not feel rested in the morning.
Your overall health might eventually start to suffer.
Your insomnia might also cause harm to loved ones.

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