Sleep Education 101

Mitochondria are the little engines in our cells that keep us alive by burning the food we eat with oxygen to make water and energy. 

Our mitochondria work great when we are young and they slowly lose their efficiency as we age. 

Our health is basically a function of how well our mitochondria are working. When they make energy well, we feel energized and our body can do what it needs.

All modern chronic diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, autism and autoimmune diseases are mitochondrial diseases.

The most important time for mitochondria to work their magic is when we SLEEP.

Every night melatonin (hormone) is secreted to repair our mitochondria. The primary window of time this happens is between 10pm – 2am.

Sleep is a dynamic process.

The average healthy adult experiences 3-5 sleep cycles per night.

There are 4 distinct stages of sleep within those cycles:


Light Sleep

Rapid Eye Movement (REM Sleep)

Deep/Slow Wave Sleep (SWS).

Light sleep

physiological process taken to transition to deep sleep

Rapid Eye Movement (REM Sleep)

The brain is restored.

This is when ideas and skills acquired during the day are cemented as memories.

Slow Wave Sleep (SWS)

Deep sleep

This is the time when your muscles repair and grow.

Your body produces 95% of its daily supply of growth hormones.


It’s natural to be awake for brief periods many times in the night.

Known as arousals, or “disturbances” – it’s normal to experience anywhere from 10-20 per night.

They only last a few minutes and you’re not conscious of them. You can lose upwards of an hour of sleep in the Wake stage due to disturbances.