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Do you know how REM sleep improves your health?

Each night, as you close your eyes and drift into the land of dreams and give much needed rest to your tired body, your mind races through various thoughts that we call dreams. These dreams are a way of processing your emotions around events from the day and significant occurrences in the recent past. We dream most vividly when we are in the REM phase of sleep.

During sleep, the body moves through five different stages of both REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. Over the course of the night, the body will go through this five-stage cycle four to six times, spending an average of 90 minutes in each stage.

REM sleep is also known as paradoxical sleep, as it is the closest to the state of waking states. The brain functions with a similar intensity to when it is awake, and is characterized by a rapid side to side eye movement, while the rest of the body, especially the legs and arms are ‘paralyzed’, preventing you from acting out your dreams.

REM sleep phases beginning with a ten minute interval may go up to an hour, interspersed with Non-REM phases as the night goes on. This important sleep cycle is essential in learning as it stimulates the parts of the brain associated with forming and retaining memories. Whenever you experience something new like a workshop or a new taste, the brain creates memories by building an index card of sorts that associates it with your feelings and this library of feelings and snapshots of actions informs your future decisions. When you have a disturbed sleep with less REM sleep phases, memory formation can be hindered. This leads to a wide range of difficulties, from debilitated processing of memories and loss of vital information, to emotional stresses.

REM sleep is sort of a housekeeping for the brain, with deep sleep offering the opportunity to flush out neurotoxins and toxic proteins. Studies have shown that long term reduction in REM sleep increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzhiemer’s and Parkinson’s as the brain accumulates toxins that attack memory storage.

The longer this restorative phase of sleep, the fresher you feel the next day, ready to take on the world. Visit www.sleepkraft.com to find the right mattress for your rest and rejuvenation.

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