Did you know during an eight-hour sleep pattern, the average adult only spends approximately 1.5 hours (or 20% of total sleep time) in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep?
REM sleep is important because it is the restorative part of our sleep cycle. Typically, you begin the sleep cycle with a period of non-REM sleep followed by a very short period of REM sleep. The period of non-REM sleep is made up of stages 1 to 4. Each stage can last from 5 to 15 minutes. A completed cycle of sleep consists of a progression from stages 1 to 4 before REM sleep is attained, then the cycle starts over again.
However, if your REM sleep is disrupted even one night, your body won’t follow its normal circadian sleep cycle (“inner clock”) progression. Instead, you will slip directly into REM sleep as a result of not getting the right amount of sleep the night before. You will also go through extended periods of REM sleep until you “catch up” on this stage of sleep. Poor sleep cycles can cause grogginess, a lack of concentration and more.
People often associate REM sleep with dreams. While dreams can occur in other deep sleep stages, most dreams occur during REM sleep. Researchers are still trying to learn exactly why people need REM sleep, why we dream, and what purpose our dreams serve. However, some researchers theorize that dreams are the ways in which the brain processes emotions, information, memories, and stress.
Changing your way of life so that every night you can get the proper sleep you need is key. Here are a few tips you can do to increase your chances of a good night's sleep:
Keep a regular sleep schedule
Create a relaxing bedtime routine
Manage your thoughts
Stay away from big meals at night
Avoid alcohol before bed
Eliminate caffeine after lunch
If you're looking for extra aid in improving your sleep, try Azumio’s Sleep Time app. Sleep Time measures your sleep efficiency and REM cycles as well acts as an alarm clock that will wake you up during your lightest sleep phase. See what thousands of users are raving about by downloading Sleep Time today!
Sleep Time is a free app available on iOS and Android. For more information, visit Azumio.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com.
Main Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com
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