REM or rapid eye movement is the stage of sleep where your brain is very active and prone to dreaming. From the name itself, your eyes are moving rapidly in REM and the effects of which may be affected by your age and other factors. REM helps in the improvement of memory recall and mental cognition while experiencing vivid dreams and surreal experiences. REM is the last of four stages of sleep where the transition into sleep starts at the first five minutes.
In the first five minutes, the eyes will move slower and the muscle activity lessens. The possibility of awakening is still prevalent.
In the next 10-25 minutes, where eye movement stops and the heart rate lowers as your body temperature decreases.
Next is deep sleep – this the stage where it is difficult to wake from and when you do wake up, you feel groggy and disoriented. This is due to the slowed brain activity and blood flow is directed away from the brain to the muscles to restore physical energy.
And lastly, is the dream sleep or REM that occurs within 70 to 90 minutes of falling asleep. There will be rapid eye movement, shallow breathing, and the heart rate and blood pressure starts to increase. Additionally, the arms and legs may already be paralyzed.
Environmental factors that help improve sleep quality include the complete disconnect from electronics and other distracting devices that may still stimulate the brain before your regulated sleep schedule. The lessening of brain stimulation should help in the production of melatonin that encourages REM and helps in the body’s internal clock.
The key to achieving REM sleep daily is to work on a routine that encourages the production of melatonin and the aversion to substances and behaviors that keep your brain occupied before reaching sleep. If you are not able to reach REM sleep, get your hormone levels checked. You may need to supplement Melatonin to achieve REM sleep. Having the proper amount of Testosterone also effects your body’s ability to achieve REM sleep.