Understanding Basic Sleep Physiology

Sleep is not a static process.  In fact, our brain cycles through two main stages of sleep about every 90 minutes; REM and Non-REM.  Generally, we spend about three-fourths of our night in NREM and the rest in REM sleep.  REM sleep is a very active stage of sleep with irregular breathing and complete muscle paralysis and it is also the stage of sleep where dreaming occurs.  Any sleep disorder or medication that disrupts this natural progression of sleep stages throughout the night can lead to a sense of daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and cause cognitive impairments such as memory loss or moodiness. 

If you snore and have daytime sleepiness or risk factors for heart attack or stroke (such as high blood pressure or diabetes), you should strongly consider talking to your family doctor about being evaluated by Dr. Ludwick and/or participating in a Sleep Study. You can also Request an appointment online.


Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you're sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you're still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.

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