REM Sleep and Its Importance

REM Sleep and Its Importance

REM sleep is a cyclical pattern in the brain during which there is a discharge of electrical and chemical impulses. Sleep typically has four stages. During REM sleep, alpha and beta waves are intense and rapid, waking up the brain in a deep sleep.

Sleep and dreams are tightly intertwined as two aspects of the same process: Behavioral studies show that dreaming occurs most often during REM sleep cycles. In contrast, physiological studies reveal that both slow-wave (delta) and rapid wave (alpha) EEG patterns occur during REM periods, which explains why dreaming is typically more vivid when individuals are awakened during this stage.

The Stages Of REM Sleep

Before entering into the REM sleep stage, The body can go through the various non-REM sleeping steps. The following sections will discuss each one in more depth.

Stage 1 sleep that is non-REM.

In this state, a person is in between awake and asleep or at a point of restful sleep.

Stage 2 sleep that is non-REM.

Asleep that is slightly more restful is the hallmark of this stage. The body temperature is reduced, and heart rate slows. The majority of people sleep almost half of their sleeping time during this phase.

Stage 3 non-REM sleep

Stage 3 non-REM sleep is a period of restorative and deep sleep, also known as slow-wave and delta sleep. Muscles relax, blood flow to muscles is increased, and the body heals and builds tissues.

Sleeping Through The Night

Sleeping Through The Night
REM Sleep and Its Importance

Most people go into the REM sleep stage following the stages mentioned above. This is the phase of sleep that is when most people sleep, although it is also possible to experience this during non-REM sleep.

The absence of REM sleep could adversely affect mental and physical health, especially if you are a back sleeper.

Memory And Learning

It processes data and builds memories while you sleep. This is why sleeping disorders can affect the working memory of a person. A study with healthy teenagers found that lack of sleep may increase the likelihood of developing false memories.

Central Nervous System Development

Sleeping through the night is essential for developing the brains of infants. Studies show that this stage of sleep is responsible for the neuronal stimulation required for maturing brain structure development.

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These findings could clarify why infants require higher quantities of REM sleep, and the duration of REM sleep declines as we get older.

The Consequences Of A Lack Of REM Sleep

Certain studies link the absence in REM sleeping to

Lower coping abilities: Research indicates that the absence of REM sleep could affect a person’s ability to distinguish between non-threatening and threatening stimuli and respond to them accordingly.

Migraine: A lack of sleep can increase the intensity of suffering from migraine for the following days. But, sleeping for a long time and quality impacted migraine rates.

ObesitySome studies have linked the amount and the quality of sleeping with the chance of being the source of Obesity.

Alcohol’s Effects

Alcohol's Effects

Alcohol consumption before sleep can affect a person’s sleep cycle and quality of sleep. The research isn’t detailed on how alcohol impacts REM sleep.

Alcohol can affect sleep in different ways as well. It can, for instance, contribute to sleep apnea, snoring, and sleep ap and causes an increase in bathroom visits, and disrupts the circadian rhythm of your body. It is the body’s internal clock that regulates wake and sleep times.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

A few people are affected by RBD. This is a disorder in which the muscle paralysis one typically suffers from during REM sleep is not present. The patient is then able to relive vivid dreams. For instance, they might shout, kick, or shake their arms.

The beginning of RBD tends to occur gradually, and the symptoms can worsen with time.

RBD results from a malfunctioning of neural pathways within the brain. Treatment for RBD is a combination of treatment with medication and changing the sleep environment to improve the safety of the person suffering from the condition and their sleep partner.

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How Can You Enhance REM Sleep?

There are many methods to improve the quality of both REM and non-REM sleeping to enjoy the benefits of good quality sleep. These tips can assist in enhancing REM sleep.

Make sure you get enough rest.

A healthy adult must get at least 7 hours of rest per 24 hours. If you sleep less than that, it reduces the amount of REM sleep cycles a person goes through. You must also follow the best position for a good quality sleep.

Take care of medical issues.

Some medical issues, including sleep apnea, can impact sleep quality and can affect REM sleep. Treatment for these ailments can improve the quality of sleep.

Beware of alcohol consumption before bedtime.

Since moderate-to-high drinking before bed may decrease the number of REM sleep phases and cause delays in getting into the first REM phase. Therefore, it is advised to steer clear of drinking alcohol during the days before bed.

What Are Good Sleeping Habits?

Every day, the same routine for bedtime can prepare your body and mind to sleep. A pattern for rest can help increase the duration of sleep time, possibly increasing the amount of REM sleep cycles that a person goes through.

A few sleep habits include

  • sleeping and getting up at the same time
  • Eliminating electronic devices from your bedroom
  • increasing physical activity throughout the daytime
  • In the summer, keep your bedroom dark, calm and peaceful.


The stage of REM sleep is where the majority of people dream vividly. These sleep-like periods generally begin around 90 minutes after a person falls asleep and then repeat every 90 minutes.

The REM sleep stage is vital for the consolidation of information and forming memories. Studies have linked disturbances in REM sleep to an increased risk of being overweight and a higher risk of migraine.

Establishing good sleeping routines and following a pattern for getting to bed can improve their REM sleep and the overall quality of their rest time.

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