Categories: Sleep Science

REM Sleep

There are 5 distinct sleep stages, with REM sleep being one of them. Most people fall into the REM sleep stage nightly, and many experience it four or five times each night.

What is REM Sleep?

REM stands for rapid eye movement, and is characterized by random, fast-darting movements of the eyes. While the amount of time you spend in REM sleep varies depending on your age, most adults spend up to 25 percent of their total sleep time in REM sleep. On the other hand, newborns spend more than 75 percent of their sleep time in REM sleep.

On average, adults enter into a REM sleep cycle every 90 to 120 minutes. While in REM sleep, your brain’s activity, primarily in the mid-brain and forebrain, becomes heightened and intense. Yet, conversely, many of your muscles enter a state of temporary paralysis and immobility. There’s an absence of motor function, with the exception of the muscles of the eyes and diaphragm. Because of this stark contrast between the physical paralysis of the sleeper (external paralysis) and the heightened brain activity (internal arousal), that REM sleep is referred to as paradoxical sleep. It is during this stage, that people experience more vivid and lucid dreams. Sleep researchers believe that the muscle paralysis that occurs during REM sleep is to prevent people from violently acting out their vivid dreams.

The first time during the night that you enter the REM sleep stage, it lasts about 10 minutes. Each time you enter the REM sleep thereafter, the length of your REM sleep stage lengthens. While REM sleep occurs several times during the night, it represents the smallest portion of a person’s total sleep duration. When you enter REM sleep, not only does your heart rate and breathing increase, but your finger and face may twitch.

Sleep Deprivation and REM Sleep

Sleep studies have revealed that people who are sleep deprived enter into REM sleep more quickly than those who are not. People suffering from depression have shorter REM sleep cycle duration, but when on certain antidepressant medications, their REM sleep stage lengthens.

Importance of REM Sleep

Research has shown that REM sleep has a direct correlation to creative process enhancement than other sleep phases, or even being awake. The thought is that REM sleep alters neurotransmitters in the brain enhancing its ability to solve problems creativity. Because REM sleep has been linked to memory consolidation, people who are deprived of REM sleep, may have more difficulty remembering and learning new things.

While researchers continue to delve deeper in understand the phases of sleep, one thing is certain: sleep is essential to restore energy, both in the body and mind.

Link to Us!

If you found this article useful and shareable, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog:

[code]Learn More about Getting a Better Night’s Sleep and Good Sleep Hygiene at <a href=”https://www.plushbeds.com/blog/sleep-science/rem-sleep/”>Plushbeds Green Sleep Blog</a>.[/code]

(Visited 369 times, 1 visits today)
Share
    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

    Recent Posts

    How Did the Letters Z-z-z-z-z-z Become Synonymous With Sleep and Snoring?

    In comics and cartoons, it's common to see a series of "Z's" indicating an individual is sleeping. But, when and… Read More

    16 hours ago

    How to Build a Bedtime Routine for You AND Your Kids

    How many times have you jumped into bed, turned the lights off, got comfortable under your sheets, and then you… Read More

    3 days ago

    The 10 Most Powerful Daily Habits to Transform Your Health

    Whether your interests are to improve your health in general, avoid a specific medical condition, or to improve a health… Read More

    1 week ago

    Organic and Natural Teas That May Help You Fall Asleep

    People love tea. If provides a similar boost as coffee in alertness, but has less caffeine. Therefore, it doesn't interfere… Read More

    1 week ago

    What is a Weighted Blanket and What Are Its Benefits?

    For many individuals, a weighted blanket has become a routine part of healthy sleep habits and stress relief, and for… Read More

    3 weeks ago

    Sleep and Aging

    As you get older, you may experience bodily changes that can impact how you sleep. These changes may frequently become… Read More

    1 month ago