REM (or Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is one of the four sleep stages. While it only accounts for 20-25% of the sleep cycle, it facilitates the essential rest you require by serving as the predominant stage for rest and rejuvenation.
When you are in REM sleep, your brain levels are similar to waking levels; it’s the period of sleep when your dreams take place. Most even experience temporary paralysis as the brain signals to the spinal cord for well-earned rest.
As the fourth stage of sleep, REM comes a while after the first very light stage of sleep, where you circle in a holding pattern between awake and asleep. This is followed by the second stage, where your heart slows and your temperature drops.
As you descend into a deeper state, stage three of sleep emerges as a profoundly restorative phase known as slow-wave sleep. During this stage, your muscles relax, and you drift farther away from the surface, gradually losing sight of the conscious realm akin to the epipelagic zone.
Next is the fourth stage, where you stop falling further and begin to rise. Now you start to dream, and now you fly. This is REM sleep, and it is beautiful; it’s immense and revitalizing.
But why is REM sleep so critical? What are the tangible benefits? How does it help your mind and body? Well, this article will tell you. Read on to dive into the top five reasons why REM sleep is just so vital for your health and spirit.
1. May Facilitate e-Learning and Processing Information Through Dreams
Contrary to what one might expect, learning during sleep is not paradoxical. During REM sleep, the brain processes new and vital memories, consolidating the previous day’s freshly collected data and transforming it into your deep collection of knowledge, both conscious and unconscious.
As you sleep and dream away the nighttime, the mind serves as a processor and repository, akin to information hard drives. REM sleep is a vital tool that facilitates memory integration and storage, allowing you to wake up with a deeper reservoir of knowledge and a clearer understanding of the world around you.
2. May Improve Bone Health
Sleep plays a vital role in cellular repair and maintaining optimal bone health. This holds true for individuals across all age groups, from children who require ample REM sleep to older adults and everyone in between.
Bone health is crucial because strong and healthy bones provide strong structural support, enable mobility, and aid in many other vital bodily functions. Prioritizing bone health may also help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis, but it primarily ensures overall physical well-being.
Thus, robust bone health is essential for leading an active lifestyle, and REM sleep acts as a crucial contributor to achieving this. So, want to lead an active lifestyle? Go to sleep.
3. Mitigate Negative Emotions
Insufficient time sleeping can result in a low mood, causing irritability, grouchiness, and an overall not feeling like your best self. The key to preventing such negative effects lies in obtaining an adequate amount of REM sleep.
REM sleep plays a critical role in mood regulation. It helps you maintain an even disposition, and it is also true that you work better when you can regulate your moods better.
4. Aid in Pain Relief and Overall Health
When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel pain more intensely, have a weaker immune system, and have a reduced production of new and healthy cells in your body. Thus, sleep serves as a natural pain reliever and helps strengthen your immune system.
By getting enough REM sleep, your body can focus on other important things instead of dealing with pain. So, prioritize REM sleep for better overall well-being and to free up your body’s resources for other essential functions.
5. Improve Focus
As stated already, during the REM sleep stage, the brain consolidates, and processes information gathered throughout the day, allowing for improved cognitive functioning. REM sleep helps to strengthen these neural connections, leading to enhanced learning and memory retention. By obtaining sufficient REM sleep, individuals can experience sharper focus, increased mental clarity, and improved concentration levels.
REM sleep serves as a vital component in optimizing cognitive performance and high levels of concentration in daily activities, linked to better performance in work, sports, and academia, among other areas — serving a benefit to both your mind and body.
REM sleep offers a wide range of benefits that contribute to your overall well-being; this article has explored just a few.
It aids in mood regulation, pain relief, immune system function, and the formation of new and healthy cells. Additionally, REM sleep improves cognitive functions, such as concentration, learning, and memory recall.
By prioritizing rest and obtaining adequate REM sleep, you can optimize your physical and mental health, leading to a more fulfilling and productive life. Therefore, finding a good routine that allows you to access optimal sleep, ensuring that you get enough REM sleep, will keep you healthy and ensure you can be your very best self.