Counselling Chronicle (12)

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Counselling Chronicle (12)

Issue 12…


We all know the importance of sleep, not enough and we feel fatigued, our thinking processes are slowed, we are more emotional, our memory is poorer, and we make mistakes and misjudgements. The topic of sleep is an emotive one, we often worry about the amount or quality of sleep we are (not) getting, which can in turn lead to difficulties sleeping due to stress.

The following article aims to provide some information around sleep, bust some unhelpful myths around sleep, and offers some suggestions for getting a good night’s rest.

Why do we sleep?

Sleep provides an opportunity for our brains to rest and repair themselves – consolidating information learned during the day into memory, and trimming brain connections that are faulty or no longer needed.

Sleep Stages and Cycles

Sleep occurs in a cycle of different stages. The cycle typically lasts approximately 90 minutes, and is repeated several times throughout a night. In the 90 minutes, a person goes from the lighter stages of sleep, through to a deep level of sleep, and then back up into the lighter stages of sleep. It is normal to wake up a few times during a night’s sleep – most people won’t remember these awakenings.

Sleep stages are broadly categories into five stages:

Stage 1 – Light sleep
Stage 2 – Light-moderate sleep
Stage 3 – Moderate-deep
Stage 4 – Deep sleep
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep

Diagram of Adult Sleep Cycle

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Felicity Webster

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