Health & Wellness


Getting quality sleep is vital to your productivity, energy, and mental and physical health. Explore the different types and treatments of sleep problems and disorders—and what you can do to get a better night’s sleep.

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Explore Sleep

Sleep FAQs

What is sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is a condition that can occur when you’re transitioning into or out of rapid eye movement (REM), a phase of sleep in which you may experience dreams and muscle paralysis. During a sleep paralysis episode, you have some awareness of your surroundings but are temporarily unable to move or talk. Some people also experience hallucinations, where they hear imaginary voices, see dark figures in the room, or feel an ominous presence. The experience can be distressing, but aside from the discomfort it brings, sleep paralysis is typically harmless. It sometimes occurs alongside sleep disorders such as narcolepsy.
What is REM sleep?
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is one phase of the sleep cycle. During REM sleep, your breathing speeds up, your eyes move, your voluntary muscles are immobile, and you experience dreams. REM sleep is believed to play a role in memory storage and learning, perhaps by clearing out irrelevant information from the mind. About every 90 minutes, or three to five times a night, you enter REM sleep. While the first episode usually lasts for only a few minutes, REM time increases over the course of the night, with the final episode lasting up to 30 minutes. Once REM sleep ends, you cycle back through three stages of non-REM sleep.
How do I fall asleep fast?
To fall asleep faster at night, try a relaxation practice, such as a deep breathing exercise, meditation, or light stretching to lower your stress levels before bed and prepare yourself for sleep. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable. Exercising during the day can help expend energy and improve sleep quality. It can also help to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks late in the day.
What causes sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking seems to run in families, so some people may be more genetically at risk. However, many other factors can also play a role. Anxiety or sleep deprivation can lead to sleepwalking, as can certain medications, such as antidepressants and over-the-counter sleeping pills. Untreated physical and mental health conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), can further increase your risk of sleepwalking.
Why is sleep really important?
How well you sleep at night directly impacts your mental and physical health and how you think, feel, and behave during the day. Sleep impacts your productivity and creativity at work or school, helps maintain your emotional balance, and affects your heart and brain health, your immune system, and even your weight. While you sleep, your body repairs tissue and your brain processes information and removes cellular waste. On the flip side, a lack of sleep can increase your risk of serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, anxiety, and depression.