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Learn About the Stages of Sleep with Neureka Sleep

May 24, 2023

By Amber Kaiser

Neureka Sleep measures the four common sleep stages and provides an analysis of sleep and the stages of sleep. The four sleep stages are known as awake, light (non-REM or NREM), deep and REM (rapid eye movement). The whole body is going through different levels of awareness and response in each stage, and with our Neureka Sleep ring, we track movement and health metrics like heart rate, blood oxygenation (SpO2), respiratory rate, and heart rate variability to help determine which stage of sleep you are in.

What happens in each sleep stage?


In the awake stage our sleep is the lightest and we can be woken up easily. It typically lasts less than ten minutes and heartbeat and breathing slow down while muscles begin to relax. During this stage, the brain also starts producing alpha and theta waves. (1)

Light Sleep

The light stage of sleep can last about 25 minutes and includes “brief bursts of electrical activity (in the brain) known as sleep spindles.” Our heart rate and breathing slow down and temperature drops. (1)

Deep Sleep

The brain starts producing lower delta waves in the deep sleep stage and there is no eye movement or muscle activity. In deep sleep, we are also naturally harder to awaken as our bodies are doing things like “repairing muscles and tissues, encouraging growth and development and improving immune function.” We can also feel groggy being woken during a deep sleep. (1)

Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

Rapid eye movement sleep normally happens about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. Your eyes start moving quickly behind your eyelids and you start dreaming in this phase as well. The brain and body are very active during REM. Your body “experiences faster and irregular breathing, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure while your leg and arm muscles become temporarily paralyzed, stopping you from acting out your dreams.” This sleep stage is important to help with things like your memory, learning process, concentration and mood during the day. (1)

See your sleep stage details in Neureka Sleep

With Neureka Sleep, you can select the “Sleep” button at the bottom of the mobile app as well as the “Sleep history” widget on the tablet to see easy-to-read details including your sleep times, sleep score, sleep efficiency, sleep stages, and length of time in each sleep stage (2). It also shows you if any alerts happened (if your caretakers were contacted) and gives you a metrics graph of your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and body movement. The system is really easy to read and provides helpful insight for yourself and your doctors.

Neureka Sleep session example graphic

Neureka Sleep helps detect abnormal activity during sleep

A seizure while sleeping is called a nocturnal seizure and Neureka Sleep helps detect any abnormal activity during sleep that may be signs you had a seizure. A study of seizures in relation to sleep shows seizures often occur during lighter sleep. I wonder if this naturally correlates with the common “brief bursts of electrical activity” during the light sleep cycle. Deep sleep is especially important for people with epilepsy because it’s known that seizures and sleep quality go hand-in-hand. Particularly, a study in epilepsy has shown that too little or too much sleep during the REM stage can increase the risk of seizures by over 25%.

We hope you learned a bit more about the differences between the four sleep stages and the importance of sleep quality for people with epilepsy. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us anytime at hello@neureka.ai.

Reference & Notes

(1) National Sleep Foundation, “What are the Sleep Stages?” https://www.thensf.org/what-are-the-sleep-stages/

(2) There may be a difference between the data presented in Neureka Sleep and the data in medical literature or from clinical studies with factors including age, gender, wearable device, environmental factors, etc.

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