What makes REM sleep so essential? Discovered in 1953 by Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman and Dr. Aserinsky, REM sleep is characterized by rapid, random eye movements and muscle paralysis. Early research revealed that during REM sleep, the brain exhibited similar electrical activity as during wakefulness, which led to the name REM (rapid eye movement) or Paradoxical sleep, highlighting the paradoxically heightened brain activity.
Throughout the night, the body goes through multiple sleep cycles. The REM stage occurs around 4-5 times per night, with each cycle, its duration increases. During the REM stage, neural activity in the brain intensifies, affecting the breathing muscles and potentially causing snoring and sleep apnoea.
Scientific studies suggest that REM sleep is crucial for the consolidation of learning and memories. This is supported by the observation that babies have longer periods of REM sleep, while the amount of REM sleep decreases as we age. Additionally, REM sleep has a profound restorative effect on the body, allowing it to heal from daily activities.
REM sleep is also the stage where vivid, bizarre, and emotionally charged dreams are most likely to occur. Although the exact purpose and function of dreams are still being explored, it is theorized that they serve as a means for the brain to process emotions, information, memories, and stress.
To ensure sufficient REM sleep, consider the following practices:
- Incorporate meditation into your pre-sleep routine.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Avoid eating a few hours before bed.
- Maintain a consistent bedtime each evening.
- Consider using a sleep monitor to assess whether your routine is helping you achieve an adequate amount of REM sleep.
If you would like to find out how REM-Fit can help you to get a better night’s sleep, get in touch with our experienced and knowledgeable staff via live chat or email us via email@example.com