It's always intriguing to hear latest survey related to sleep.
And they all have one thing in common and that is people are much better off getting recommended hours for healthier living.
That doesn't come as anything new but what are prescribed hours we should be sleeping each night and what actually happens when we lay down and close our eyes every night.
Sleep for human beings is divided into two distinct states; "REM" (rapid eye movement) also called light or active, and "NREM" (non rapid eye movement), also called deep or quiet sleep.
When adults fall asleep we generally slip straight into NREM sleep.
Our bodies become motionless, breathing (becomes) is shallow and regular, our muscles relax and for all money we (are) become "out to it". After about ninety minutes our brain begins to "wake up" and starts functioning on a different level, this is when we enter REM sleep.
During REM, our brain, it could be said, "exercises", we dream, fidget, roll over, moan and talk in our sleep, even adjust blankets without fully awakening. When we wake during night, either for no apparent reason or to go to bathroom it is from this REM state.
The average adult during a normal eight hour sleep takes seven minutes to fall asleep and spends around two hours in REM sleep and six hours in NREM sleep, rotating between two states about every ninety minutes.
Infants on other hand, especially young babies, enter sleep through an initial twenty or thirty minutes in REM.
This explains why a lot of people especially babysitters and people unfamiliar with babies sleeping patterns go to painstaking, meticulous and sometimes bizarre lengths to get baby off to sleep - only to have her suddenly wake when it looks like "deals done".
If efforts were to continue for an extra twenty or thirty minutes until baby has entered NREM sleep there is a far greater chance that baby will stay asleep.
One would recognize transition from NEM to NREM sleep. Spasmodic twitches, muscle tightness, grimaces and even sleep grins would gradually give way to an overall limpness with breathing becoming more regular and shallow. If baby needs to be moved it's better to wait for her to reach NREM state as she can be easily woken whilst in REM sleep.
Young babies spend approximately half their sleeping time in REM, dropping off to about twenty five percent by time they reach four years of age. Infants sleep cycles occur about every sixty minutes (that is going from light sleep to deep sleep then back to light sleep).