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3 Things you should know about REM sleep

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Sleep is a very important aspect of every person’s life. While you sleep at night, several processes take place in the body that is beneficial to your body's health. With enough sleep, you will be able to carry out your daily duties during waking hours. As you sleep, you undergo two different cycles which can also be regarded as types of sleep which are REM and non-REM.

Between these two cycles, the brain moves from one cycle to the next every 90 minutes to two hours. Each cycle is important and it takes about ten minutes to one hour before the next begins, but, REM is normally the shorter of the two cycles.

During REM which is the first cycle the moment you fall asleep, your eyes to rapidly move around in your head. Apart from this the speed of your heart rate also increases as well as the breathing movements. In non-REM sleep cycle, there are three stages involved and then you go back to REM cycle. Here are three things you should know about REM sleep.

REM sleep can be affected by drugs

Drugs and alcoholic drinks such as alcohol are mostly used to help people fall asleep fast. But, studies have shown these to have negative impacts on REM sleep. Taking an alcoholic drink or two will gradually affect your REM cycle and this is evident when you sleep for long hours after taking alcohol.

Medicinal drugs such as antidepressants and beverages that contain stimulants can also interfere with REM. They affect both adults and children and with time, losing out on REM sleep can lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

REM sleep enhances a child's brain development

Although sleep is important for adults, it is of a high importance to a child's brain development. All children need to have enough sleep for their growth and development. For a child's brain to fully develop and for it to be able to function properly, the child needs to get enough sleep. Sleep enables them to accumulate data and actively participate in various activities.

Most children who suffer from sleep deprivation are not able to develop to their full potential. When a child does not get enough sleep, their behaviors, memory and social skills are negatively affected. This is because one of the things that happen during REM sleep is the conversion of daily experiences into long-term memories. Babies also experience REM sleep and you will notice this when babies laugh in their sleep since laughing normally occurs during REM sleep.

You may be seeing things during REM sleep

The eyes are used to visualize and this can happen even during REM sleep. It is not a strange thing to notice some movements in the eyes when someone sleeps. This is because at this moment the eyes are darting around during the REM cycle. Studies indicate that you might be looking at objects in your dreams during REM sleep leading to this behavior.

Lack of sleep can negatively affect your health leading to sleep disorders. Although the disorders vary, it is important for you to prevent them by ensuring that you get enough sleep. The moment you notice any signs of sleep disorders in your child or yourself, see the pediatrician and try treating the underlying causes to avoid major problems.

This post was written by a guest blogger. Thank you for the submission to my site.