I could never understand why on some mornings I woke up feeling like I had been hit by the back of a bus and other mornings I felt alive and refreshed.

I thought it was because I had just had a late night, or I was worried about something or I had not slept properly the night before.

I was fascinated to learn about sleep cycles, recently.

Sleep CyclesThis graph shows, rather crudely, a sleep cycle that lasts approx 1.5 hours. That is how long it takes a body to move in and out of deep sleep.

The first 12 – 20 minutes is REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This is where our dreams start. As we slip further down the slope into Deep Sleep, this is where our consciousness surrenders and our body receives the rest it requires to allow us to restore and rejuvenate the body in order to function effectively while we are awake. The last 12 – 20 minutes of the sleep cycle is more REM sleep.

How many of these sleep cycles each of us require each night differs and depends on a number of factors e.g. age, stress levels, level of disease in the body etc.

What you can appreciate, however, is if you alarm clock goes off while you are the middle of your sleep cycle (ie. in Deep Sleep), you can imagine how much longer you are going to take to come out of that state of rest – ie. the feeling of being run over by a bus.

The ideal time to set your alarm is at the end of a sleep cycle where you are “riding the wave” and will feel refreshed and ready for the day.

So how do you do this ? As with everything these days, there’s an APP for your iPhone / Android. Take a look at www.sleepcycle.com and download the App.

Enjoy a restful night’s sleep and an even better day !