Importance Of Sleep-Wake Cycle For Rugby Players

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Sleep-wake cycle for rugby players
Sleep and recovery after exercise, particularly relating to performance is important and the link between sleep cognitive function and metabolic function is growing.
Stages of sleep:
There are five stages of sleep of consciousness associated with sleep stages 1,2,3,4 and rapid eye movement. Stages 1-4 are often grouped together and referred to as Non rapid eye movement sleep. During the day, beta brainwaves dominate and reflect a mental state that is actively aware of the surroundings. As one lies down in preparation for sleep, beta waves are replaced by alpha waves. They are associated with a mental state of being awake yet relaxed.
After about five to 20 minutes of Alpha brainwaves activity, the mind is prepared to enter stage 1 of sleep. This first stage can last from 10 seconds up to 10 minutes and is defined by theta brainwaves. During this stage, respiration becomes shallow and muscle relaxation occurs. The stage is associated with the feeling of falling , and accompanied by a reflex response such as jerking of arms and legs. As the person progresses into stage two, the theta waves become intermingled with sleep spindles and complex waves. Sleep spindles which can be measured by EEG signals, arguably define the beginning of actual sleep since the person is oblivious to most external stimuli. This stage last’s from 10 to 20 minutes. Stage 3 and 4 together are called slow wave sleep. During slow wave sleep, metabolic activity is at it’s lowest. Growth hormone maximised. After about 30 to 40 minutes of the delta sleep, the stage is reversed, reverting back to stage 3 and stage 4.
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During REM sleep there is an increase in blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate,heart rate, and blood flow. Even though the eyelids are closed the eyes move backwards and forwards. Dreams usually occur during REM

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