Ultradian Rhythms

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Ultradian Rhythms

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Sleep stages

> Within the sleep cycle an example of ultradian rhythms exist - the five stages of sleep.

> The first four stages of sleep are called NREM sleep (non-rapid eye movement).

> The fifth stage of sleep are called REM sleep, so called because of the accompanying movements of the eye beneath the closed eyelids.

> One sleep cycle goes through all five stages and lasts about ninety minutes.

> The awake brain produces a typical pattern called a beta wave.

> Stages 1 & 2 = light sleep, characterised by a change in electrical activity of the brain - as you become more relaxed your brain waves become slower (alpha) & as you go to sleep they become even slower (theta) - heart rate slows & temperature drops.

> Stages 3 & 4 = characterised by even slower delta waves (slow wave sleep) - very hard to wake someone up, although person isn't unconscious…

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