Sleep is just as necessary for survival as food and water, and the length of time you spend in each stage of the REM Sleep cycle has an impact on your health. Continue reading to find out more about rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, why you might not be getting enough of it, and how to get more of it by making simple, manageable changes.
Why is REM sleep necessary and what does it entail?
You cycle through four stages of light and deep sleep when you’re sleeping. The last stage of sleep, known as REM, begins about 90 minutes after you go to bed. how to get more rem sleep? Your brain is much more active during REM than it is during other stages of sleep, displaying symptoms of activity that are similar to those you might experience when you are up.
Your brain’s learning and memory centres are stimulated while you are in REM. You are also most likely to dream during this period of sleep. According to one hypothesis, the frequently jumbled and downright strange dreams we have while in REM are actually a function of the brain’s activity of organising memories and sorting through newly acquired information. Another hypothesis is that our REM dreams aid in the processing of our emotions.
Along with increased brain activity, REM sleep involves physical changes that don’t occur during other sleep stages. Behind your eyelids, your eyes dart back and forth. Your breathing becomes erratic, your pulse rate and blood pressure rise.
Do you require a lot of REM sleep?
REM sleep takes up around 25% of our total sleep period, or about two hours. It’s best to concentrate on obtaining enough sleep in general to make sure you’re receiving adequate time in each stage as REM is only one of four stages that we cycle through during the night.
You’ll have roughly 10 minutes of REM during your first interval of REM sleep. The amount of time you spend in REM sleep lengthens throughout the course of the night as you cycle through the various sleep stages. Your final REM phase can last an hour if you’re getting the necessary 7 to 9 hours of sleep. If you frequently don’t receive the hours you require.
Why don’t I sleep in REM enough?
A lack of REM sleep can result from a number of additional issues in addition to not receiving enough sleep overall. Two frequent offenders are alcohol and caffeine. Loss of REM sleep may also result from the use of opioids for pain relief. Some medications might also prevent REM sleep. Lack of REM sleep can also be caused by sleep disorders such sleep apnea and narcolepsy.
8 suggestions to promote REM sleep
If you believe that a drug or a sleep condition may be the cause of your disturbed sleep, speak with your doctor. Otherwise, it’s likely that your routines and environment are interfering with your capacity to achieve enough REM sleep. See if any of the suggestions listed below sound like adjustments you could make to your daily routine.
Maintain a regular sleeping routine.
One approach to guarantee you receive the finest sleep and enough REM is to go to bed and wake up around the same time every night. An irregular sleep schedule has been linked to a number of problems that affect your physical and mental health, including diabetes, heart failure, and depression, according to research.
The Welltory app estimates how much sleep you need based on your prior sleep patterns and provides recommendations that are personalised for you. Additionally, our sleep analysis monitors your sleep using a variety of parameters to generate an accurate sleep score that takes your degree of schedule adherence into account.
Keep the space dark and comfortable.
To fall asleep more quickly, air out your bedroom before night and keep a window open. Purchase blackout curtains to shield you from the sun’s rays and city lights. Too much light in the bedroom prevents the generation of melatonin, which results in disturbed sleep. Additionally, keeping your room chilly will make it easier for you to nod off. Because our body temperatures naturally drop at night, keeping your bedroom chilly will help your body recognise that it is time to go to bed.
Include aromatherapy in your nighttime ritual.
According to some studies, breathing in the aromas of essential oils like cedarwood, bergamot, and lavender can help you fall asleep by calming your nervous system. If you have a diffuser, you can add a few drops to it, or you can sprinkle some on some fabric and put it next to your pillow. The aroma can also be breathed in through your hands. Rub your hands together, add a few drops of oil to your palms, then cup your hands over your nose. A peaceful state of mind increases the likelihood of a tranquil night and greater REM sleep.
Consider incorporating white noise
You can buy a white noise machine or download a white noise app, depending on your preferences. White noise encompasses all sound frequencies, effectively masking other noises like horns from cars and aeroplanes. According to one study, introducing a white noise machine made it easier for New Yorkers to nod off and stay asleep longer.
As an alternative, purchase some earplugs.
Try using a set of earplugs to filter out sound and keep you asleep regardless of what is going on outside your window if adding noise to your room seems contradictory. For a snug fit, choose a pair composed of flexible silicone that will conform to the curve of your ears.
Eat more meals high in magnesium.
According to research, magnesium is crucial for sleep regulation, which ultimately affects how much REM sleep you get. Nearly half of Americans don’t consume the required amount of the nutrient each day. Increase the amount of foods high in magnesium on your plate, such as pumpkin and chia seeds, almonds, and spinach. A magnesium supplement can also be added, but first consult your doctor.
Limit your caffeine intake
If you want to increase the quality of your sleep, avoid caffeine in the second half of the day because it disrupts your sleep cycle. Remember that in addition to coffee, sodas, black and green teas are also on the list of beverages high in caffeine.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed.
According to several studies, drinking a few drinks before bed disturbs your sleep cycle in general and REM sleep in particular. You should schedule your evenings properly because it takes the body an hour to metabolise a typical drink.
How can you get more deep sleep?
Although they seem comparable, deep sleep and REM sleep are not the same thing. Stage 3 of non-REM sleep is deep slumber. While REM sleep is linked to changes in the brain, deep sleep is linked to changes in the body. The body repairs itself when in deep sleep by replacing cells, gaining muscle, and even curing wounds.
Similar steps can be taken to promote REM and deep sleep, however you can also try:
- consuming more fibre;
- Using a white noise machine;
- And drifting off to sleep while listening to binaural beats.
What other steps can I take to increase REM sleep?
You can monitor how these behavioural modifications impact the quality of your sleep once you start implementing any of the aforementioned adjustments into your life. This will make it simple to identify what is effective and what might still require adjustment.
You can observe links between how well you sleep and other aspects of your life, like as productivity and exercise, when you track your sleep with Welltory.
Which foods promote more REM sleep?
High-fiber foods, such broccoli, whole grains, and fresh fruit, can enhance sleep quality and promote REM sleep.
How many REM sleep hours do you require?
The recommended percentage of REM sleep is 20–25%. Therefore, if you slept for 7-8 hours each night, you would get 90 minutes or so of REM sleep.
REM or deep sleep—which is preferable?
The body undergoes a healing process when deep asleep in which tissues self-repair, cellular energy is recovered, and significant hormones are released. Because of this, deep sleep is regarded as the most significant sleep stage.