Sleep is a crucial part of healthy living. Truly, we can’t live without it. More specifically, we can’t live without deep sleep, otherwise known as REM (rapid eye movement). It’s recommended that we get at least seven to nine hours every night.
At the surface, it seems as though we’re just spending a long time in la la land. But in reality – this time is necessary for our mind and body to go through some important processes in order to stay energetic and healthy.
What is REM sleep?
REM sleep or ‘paradoxical sleep’ is the cycle of your sleep when your eyes will move and dart quickly beneath your eyelids. REM sleep is distinguished between non-REM sleep because this is the time your brain activity increases, your pulse quickens and you have dreams. But this cycle doesn’t occur until after three phases of non-REM sleep according to Medical News Today, which are:
Then REM sleep really starts to take place, typically around 90 minutes in. This sleep stage recurs every 90 minutes, for about 10 minutes each time – meaning you might go through three to five REM cycles every night. Only about 13 to 23 percent of your overall sleep is deep sleep. If you sleep for around 8 hours, you might only get about 60 to 110 minutes.
Now is the time when you are most likely dreaming and your brainwaves are darting around, but your arms and legs are still in place to prevent you from physically enacting your dreams.