Sleep Stages and Nonrestorative Sleep
Sleep EEGs are usually recorded for eight hours and reflect the presence and amount of four sleep stages.
Stage one sleep is a light sleep that usually occurs at sleep onset and after arousals or light disruptions in sleep.
Stage two sleep predominates through most of the night and is deeper than stage one. In stage three sleep- considered to be the deepest stage by auditory awakening thresholds - predominates in sleep,of children and gradually lessons with age. Growth hormone levels peak during stage three sleep.
R.E.M. Sleep is a light stage of sleep that occurs after the three stages of NonRem. It is recognized as the sleep stage from which dreaming occurs. During R.E.M. Sleep, sleepers are essentially paralyzed, which enables them to dream without acting out the dream. In other words, we dream when it is safe to dream.
In some individuals, aspects of wakefulness such as alpha waves, can intrude into sleep resulting in complaints of unsatisfactory or nonrestorative sleep. These alpha waves normally occur during relaxed wakefulness but when they intrude into sleep, can leave the sleeper feeling as if they got no sleep at all. Only GHB has been shown to improve alpha intrusion into sleep and has been shown to be helpful in managing fibromyalgia.