We all sleep. In fact, the average person spends one-third of their life catching some zzz’s. It may not seem like it but when we are sleeping, a lot is happening with our bodies. During sleep, the brain moves through four different stages, one being referred to as rapid eye movement (REM) and the other three being non-rapid eye movement (NREM) cycles. In today’s blog we are going to discuss the importance of REM sleep and the functions it plays in our overall health.
What’s REM sleep?
Each person starts off the night in NREM sleep, however within the first 90 minutes of hitting the sack, they’ll reach the REM stage. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes and as you sleep, the following REM stages get longer, with the final one lasting up to an hour. As the night progresses, REM will occur several times, accounting for a quarter of our sleep cycle. This is also when most dreams occur because your brain is most active during the REM stage.
What’s happening with my body?
As one experiences REM sleep, the brain and body go through several changes:
Why is REM sleep important?
REM sleep is believed to benefit learning, memory, mental skills, and mood. Furthermore, it stimulates the areas in your brain that have the ability to retain memories, as well as makes important neural connections. In infants, it also contributes to their brain development. Adults will spend 20-25% of their nights in REM, while babies spend up to 50%. When we don’t get an adequate amount of REM sleep, it can greatly affect our physical and emotional health.
How do I improve my REM sleep?
If you feel you lack in your sleeping abilities, there are steps you can take in enhancing both your REM and NREM sleep.
Comments will be approved before showing up.