Each night we spend about one and a half to two hours dreaming. We dream about once every 90 minutes of sleep. But what happens when we sleep?
There are five stages of sleep: four stages of NREM (Non-REM) sleep and one stage of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The most vivid and remembered dreams occur during REM sleep. Research has shown that a person being woken from REM sleep will account having just been in a dream roughly 80% of the time.
- (NREM 1) The first stage is a transition state between wakefulness and sleep. This is the stage in which hypnogogic imagery occurs. It usually passes into stage 2 within a few minutes.
- (NREM 2) During stage 2, the body gradually shuts down, and brain waves become longer in wavelength.
- (NREM 3) Stage 3 usually occurs 30 to 45 minutes after falling asleep the first time. Large, slow delta brain waves are generated.
- (NREM 4) Stage 4 is often called “deep sleep” or “delta sleep”. The heart beats the slowest and there is the least brain activity. It is during this stage that sleepwalking usually occurs.
- After stage 4, the NREM stages reverse and move back to stage 2, and then into REM sleep.
- (REM) During REM sleep, some parts of the brain are nearly as active as while awake. In this stage, your eyes flicker rapidly (hence the acronym Rapid Eye Movement). Your body is paralyzed, preventing the body from acting out dreams.
After the REM state, you sometimes wake briefly. This is usually forgotten by the time you wake up in the morning. If you don't wake up, you go to stage 2.
This introductory information is basic for you to understand what happens when you sleep and what you can do when you have a lucid dream. I'll be posting more soon.