Sleep Monitoring: The 5 stages of your sleep cycle
Until the 1950s, most people thought sleep was an entirely passive activity. Nowadays, we know that our brains are actually very active when we're sleeping. In fact, neurons in our brain fire nearly as often when we’re asleep as when we're awake -- and they consume almost as much energy. Moreover, sleep affects our daily functioning and our physical and mental health in many ways that we are just beginning to understand.
Not only does sleep help us create and consolidate memories, but it also helps us maintain a healthy immune system, regulate hormones that affect our appetites, and stay energetic when we're awake.
But what's really happening in our brains and bodies while we're snoozing away? And how much sleep do we really need?