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What is a normal sleep pattern?

How much sleep do I need?

Most adults need about 7–8 hours sleep per night, though this varies from person to person. Children tend to sleep more than adults, and older people tend to have lighter sleep.

What are the stages of sleep?

The stages of sleep are commonly referred to as:

  • non-rapid eye movement (REM)
  • REM or dreaming sleep.

The pattern of your brainwaves differs in each stage.

Non-REM sleep happens in four stages:

  • Stages 1 and 2 refer to light sleep.
  • Stages 3 and 4 refer to deeper sleep with slow brainwaves.

These phases are repeated several times during the night. Each cycle lasts about 90 minutes, although the proportion of deep sleep and dreaming sleep changes as we get older.

The stages of sleep


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