How Sleep Works
Sleep is vital for healthy living and life, just like eating and breathing. A good night’s
sleep is necessary for your body to recharge and revitalize so you can feel alert and
productive the next day.
Sleep allows your body to rest. During sleep, your muscles and tissues grow and
repair. Your brain performs important functions such as storing memory, helping keep
your immune system healthy and regulating appetite.
The average adult needs from six to eight hours of sleep. Babies, children, and
teenagers need more.
Sleep is regulated by the brain. It consists of a series of cycles of about 90 minutes in
duration. Each cycle consists of several stages. The cycles and stages are repeated
several times during the night.
Humans respond to Circadian Rhythms, or a “biological clock.” Certain structures in
the brain are responsible for coordinating the clock. These brain structures are
sensitive to light and dark. As humans, we experience “sleepy peaks” which occur at
night and in the afternoon.