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Sleep Basics

Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis can be a frightening disorder, with the sensation of being paralysed while awake. It’s the momentary inability to move either just before sleep onset or when transitioning from REM sleep to awakening. During sleep paralysis, people cannot move or speak, though they can open their eyes and they are well aware of their surroundings. This can last from a few seconds to minutes. In some cases, dream-like activity, known as hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations, can accompany the paralysis.…

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What is REM sleep?

REM stands for rapid eye movement but a great deal happens during REM sleep other than our eyes darting backwards and forwards in fast succession. To fully understand REM sleep, it’s useful to understand the whole sleep cycle. Types Of Sleep There are two types of sleep: REM sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is divided into three stages: stage 1 (non-REM1, aka N1) or light sleep; stage 2 (N2) or moderate sleep; and stage 3 (N3) or deep sleep or…

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How much sleep is too much?

At the centre of health and wellbeing is good sleep. We need sleep to rejuvenate our bodies, to boost our immune system, and to consolidate short-term memories into long-term ones. We need it for the release of human growth hormone and for the brain to clear our harmful toxins. Without sleep our mood, energy and mental alertness are compromised and we cannot function at full speed.  But just how much sleep do we need – and how much sleep is…

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