Getting to Sleep, The Stages of Sleepiness

sleeping insomnia sleep deprivation

Do you ever wonder why you get irritable before going to bed?

Scientists and psychologists have been analysing brain activity during the time leading up to sleep – all the way through to the time after we wake up. For the rest of us, the stages of sleep are often easiest to see in children, especially children resisting bedtime. Adults and children go through the same stages and the signs of sleepiness tend to include:

1. Tired
2. Slightly sleepy
3. Extremely hyper
4. Super drowsy
5. Cranky and irritable
6. Falling asleep
7. And, sometimes instantaneously falling into a very deep sleep

One of the most dangerous stages of sleepiness is pushing past the super drowsy stage (sleep deprivation) while driving a vehicle. Despite coffee, rolling down the window or other methods for staying awake behind the wheel, our brain is highly likely to succumb to the stages of sleepiness and shut down our judgment and motor skills.

There are also correlations to hereditary stages of sleepiness and sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome. A person with restless leg syndrome feels tingling, burning or itching in the lower legs when falling asleep and has the urge to move or 'run in bed' to relieve the sensation.

Sleep disorders like sleep talking or sleep-walking happen after we have fallen sleep and are caused by part of our brain becoming active while the remainder of the brain continues to sleep. Similarly, some of us have experienced waking up and feeling like we cannot move. This is sleep paralysis – where our cognitive brain begins to awaken and become active before the motor functions in our brain are active.

If you find yourself struggling through the stages of sleep or have been awaken from sleep, go ahead and give into that drowsy urge! Climb into a comfortable, supportive bed and make the most of falling deep asleep. We invite you to come into any of our Bedshed stores for help finding the right bed for a great night’s sleep.