What is REM sleep? Effective ways to support REM sleep

What is REM sleep? Effective ways to support REM sleep

July 03, 2023 | Tags: science

REM sleep plays a crucial role in restoring energy and rejuvenating the body. However, not everyone knows how to achieve highly effective REM sleep.

1. What is REM sleep?

REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, which refers to the rapid movement of the eyes during sleep. REM sleep is the stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements. During this stage, the brain is highly active, and we also dream. REM sleep is also the deepest stage of sleep.

During REM sleep, breathing becomes lighter, while the heart rate increases compared to the waking state. Dr. Epstein's research, published in Harvard Health Publishing, shows that a person's heart rate can vary greatly during REM sleep. If you experience nightmares or dream of intense activities such as running or jumping, your heart rate will increase as if you were awake.


2. How long does the REM sleep stage last?

The REM sleep stage is considered important because it accounts for a significant portion of a sleep cycle. Scientists have found that REM sleep occupies about 41% of a person's total sleep time. However, this time can vary depending on age, lifestyle, and individual habits. So, how much REM sleep is enough?

Typically, the first REM sleep stage occurs about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first REM stage usually lasts about 10 minutes. Subsequent REM stages will last longer, and the final stage can last up to an hour.

For the average adult aged 18 and older, they usually need to sleep for 7.5 to 9 hours per night, including about 1.5 to 1.8 hours of deep sleep.

In a normal adult sleep cycle, about 50% of the time is spent in non-REM sleep, 20-25% in deep non-REM sleep, and 20-25% in REM sleep.

Infants and babies can spend up to 50% of their sleep time in the REM stage, while adults and older adults only spend about 20% of their time in REM sleep, and even less for older adults. As you age, the amount of light sleep increases while the amount of deep sleep decreases. This is also part of the aging process when your sleep time becomes shorter even though the need for sleep remains relatively the same as when you were younger.


3. The role of REM sleep

Some roles of REM sleep include:

3.1. Restoration and rejuvenation

During the REM stage, the body and brain are restored and rejuvenated. Research has shown that REM sleep plays an important role in the body's basic recovery processes, including the restoration of the nervous system, enhanced immune function, and hormone balance. Lack of REM sleep can lead to fatigue, reduced concentration, and increased risk of health issues.

3.2. Support for learning and memory processes

The REM stage plays an important role in the learning and memory processes. Research has shown that dreaming during REM sleep can help consolidate learning skills and remember new information. Disruption of REM sleep can affect learning and memory abilities.

3.3. Stress relief

REM sleep also plays a role in regulating emotions. During the REM stage, the brain is highly active, and the limbic system is activated. The limbic system is a set of deep brain structures that play a crucial role in controlling human emotions and behavior. As a result, the brain processes and regulates emotions, helping to alleviate tension and stress.


3.4. Stimulates creativity

Creativity can also be stimulated and developed during the REM stage. Studies have shown that REM sleep is closely related to the creative thinking process, problem-solving abilities, and imagination.

Ensuring an adequate amount of REM sleep is necessary due to its important role in health. To have quality REM sleep, establish regular sleep routines, create a comfortable sleep environment, and reduce daily stress.

4. What impact does REM sleep deprivation have on health?

Lack of REM sleep can significantly affect a person's health. Here are some negative effects that REM sleep deprivation can cause:

  • Fatigue and decreased performance: REM sleep plays a crucial role in restoring energy and rejuvenating the body. Lack of REM sleep can lead to fatigue, decreased performance in work, study, and daily activities.
  • Unstable emotions: REM sleep has a close relationship with the processing and regulation of emotions. REM sleep deprivation can cause feelings of tension, anxiety, discomfort, and may increase the risk of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
  • Decreased creative abilities: REM sleep plays an important role in enhancing the learning process, memory consolidation, and creative thinking. Lack of REM sleep can reduce concentration, impair learning abilities, problem-solving skills, and also impact imagination and creativity.
  • Impact on the immune system: REM sleep also plays a significant role in the body's immune system. REM sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, increase the risk of infections, and affect the ability to recover after illness.


5. Efficient ways to achieve REM sleep

5.1. Establish a suitable sleep routine

Set a consistent bedtime each day. This helps your body and brain adjust and synchronize with your natural biological rhythm. When you sleep at the same time every night, your body will easily recognize and prepare for the sleep process, including the REM stage.

5.2.  Light relaxation before sleep

To achieve efficient REM sleep, it's important to incorporate relaxing habits before bedtime. Here are some suggestions for relaxation activities to help transition from an awake state to a sleep-ready state:

  • Read a book: Reading before bed can help you relax and reduce stress. Choose gentle books that are not too violent, to create a sense of tranquility and ease into sleep.
  • Listen to soothing music: Music can have a significant impact on mood and relaxation. Choose gentle, easy-to-listen-to music that doesn't stimulate you, to help you relax before sleep. Classical music, jazz, or gentle nature sounds like ocean waves or bird songs can be good choices.
  • Take a warm bath: Taking a warm bath before bed can help relax your body and reduce tension. The water temperature should be mildly warm, not too hot, to help lower your body temperature and prepare for sleep.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation methods such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can also help you relax before sleep, release tension, and prepare for sleep.

5.3. Avoid stimulants

Caffeine and other stimulants can affect the sleep process, including REM sleep. You should limit or avoid consuming caffeine and other stimulants close to bedtime to create favorable conditions for REM sleep.

5.4. Use supportive technology - FRENZ Brainband

FRENZ Brainband is a sleep support technology device that optimizes REM sleep. With advanced features and technology, the Brainband helps improve sleep quality and maximize the REM experience for users. You can also track your REM sleep and other sleep metrics through the FRENZ app on your phone.

Some advantages of FRENZ Brainband include:

  • Sleep monitoring and analysis: FRENZ Brainband is designed to track and analyze user sleep data. It provides detailed information about sleep duration and quality, including the REM stage.
  • REM stage stimulation: The device uses techniques such as gentle stimulation and vibration to encourage and optimize the REM stage. This helps users achieve a deeper sleep and a better REM sleep state.
  • Optimal sleep environment creation: FRENZ is equipped with features to create an optimal sleep environment for users, with soothing, gentle, and peaceful sounds. Sounds like raindrops, ocean waves, bird songs, or other natural sounds help create a relaxing auditory space, allowing you to relax and prepare for sleep. These factors play an important role in creating a comfortable sleep environment and stimulating the REM stage.
  • Sleep schedule adjustment: The Brainband has the ability to adjust and suggest suitable sleep times based on user data and sleep patterns. This helps establish a regular sleep routine and optimize the experience of going through the REM stage.

    We hope that the article has provided you with additional information about REM sleep - an important stage in the sleep cycle. You can experience the FRENZ product for a better sleep experience. FRENZ not only provides an optimal sleep environment but also creates special conditions to stimulate the REM stage. Start experiencing FRENZ today.

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