Getting a good night’s sleep is becoming increasingly difficult, due to factors ranging from stress to excessive caffeine intake. Our fast-paced social and work environments are also factors distorting the sleeping cycle, and its stages, leading to adverse impacts on your health.
While we are aware of our sleep cycle (number of hours one gets to sleep), however, most of us don’t think about various stages of sleep when we get into bed. There are two stages to sleep, REM (rapid eye movement), and NREM (non-rapid-eye movement). A night of sound REM sleep is important to avoid cognitive disabilities, poor focus, and risk of heart diseases.
Generally, we keep shifting between the two stages of sleep, about every 90 minutes. During the REM stage of sleep, eyes move rapidly, darting back and forth. The eyelids remain closed throughout, and it is during this time that we tend to dream.
Our muscles become temporarily paralyzed during the REM stage, as it helps prevent us from acting on dreams. The brain activity is through the roof during this stage, and the heart rate, along with the blood pressure levels are also high when experiencing REM sleep.
Memory: REM sleep helps process the new information your brain intakes during the day. The information is retained for longer periods when being processed during the REM stage and helps boost memory.
Focus and performance: REM sleep helps improve concentration levels, and reduces stress. The REM stage is the time when the brain is exercising neural connections, and nourishing your motor skills, helping you learn new skills. This ensures that your body has all the right tools to perform at work, sports, or academics.
Health and wellbeing: In case you are not able to get adequate REM sleep, your immune system could take a hit. In fact, the growth of new healthy cells and tissue in the body might also be hampered. Inadequate REM sleep can also contribute to high blood pressure, heart ailments, diabetes, and chronic obesity.
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You can improve your REM sleep by:
So ladies, take your REM sleep seriously, as it will help improve your overall health and energy levels!