Do you want to increase REM sleep naturally, or would you rather keep having interrupted sleep time where you wake up tired and unfocused?
Knowing that we spend at least one- third of our life sleeping – we should be focused on making it the best deep sleep we can get. Getting quality REM sleep is as essential as having food and water to survive. If we don’t get enough sleep, our brain will not form the pathways to create new memories.
When our sleep is limited to a few hours, the more it becomes harder to concentrate and bounce back. Our response time slows down. Sleep is essential for our survival; it affects all our tissues and our internal biological system.
What Is REM Sleep
REM sleep is when rapid eye movement takes place while you’re sleeping. This sleep cycle tends to start 90 minutes after you fall asleep. Throughout the night, you will experience REM sleep at least three different times. Being in REM also leads to dreaming, a gateway to solving emotionally related issues.
How To Know If You Are Getting Enough Sleep
- You are not experiencing any brain fog
- Working out or exercising is not a problem for you
- Your decision-making skills lead to good results
- One power nap is more than enough for you
- You have no trouble waking up in the morning
- Your food choices are excellent
- Sugary or fatty foods are not a problem for you
- You can intelligently handle your emotions
Why Is Rem Sleep Important
REM sleep is crucial because it helps in the growth and development of our body; most importantly, the nervous system. It also helps to stimulate the areas of your brain that are vital in learning and making or retaining memory.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a study showed that depriving rats of crucial REM sleep shortened their life span.
When you are in REM sleep, your brain exercises crucial neural connections that are critical to the mental and overall health. Having a deep sleep is also associated with increased production of protein. A study done on depriving REM sleep helped researchers to discover that when people are deprived of this sleep, they are unable to recall skills they were taught earlier.
My 3 Tips To Increase REM Sleep Naturally
1. Stick To A Bedtime Schedule
As a child, my parents were the enforcers of bedtime rules. Back then, I didn’t think I needed any sleep; as a matter of fact, I would read late into the night, yet still wake up at a decent time. Of course, most times, I struggled with remembering things.
As I got older, I found I started understanding why my parents enforced bedtime. Having a sleep schedule helps to maintain our internal clock. This internal clock, otherwise known as circadian rhythm, plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. It lets us know when to wake up in the morning as well when it is an excellent time to start winding down.
But if for any reason there’s a malfunction in our circadian rhythm, our sleep falls off track. This leads to irritability, drowsiness, headaches, and mood swings.
How can you avoid all this?
First off, you need to begin by listening to your body. Granted that some people like to stay up late, while others go to bed early, most of us need to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to be at our optimal best.
You will need to decide what your sleeping schedule will be. For instance, if you choose to make your bedtime at 10 PM, you need to make sure that you are in bed at that time. All your before bedtime activities should be completed; you need to be underneath those covers at the time you have decided upon.
Your body will need to get used to having a schedule, don’t fret about not being able to fall asleep precisely at 10 PM. Another thing you would have to teach yourself is to avoid sleeping in on weekends. Sleeping in on weekends will mess up your schedule.
2. Get Rid Of Distractions
Many of us like to watch TV or browse the Internet on our phone or tablet, heck some of us even bring our laptops to bed.
Getting rid of distractions can be pretty tricky. I know because I had an issue with having too many gadgets in my room. The first thing I did was get rid of my TV. It’s no longer there, so it no longer calls to me to watch a TV show.
Having a laptop in your room makes it very tempting to watch Netflix, Prime Video, or Disney+. But remember, none of these media channels have to wake up to get working in the morning.
But guess what, you do!
Another thing people love to do is bring their work to bed with them. Your bedroom should be your escape from your everyday life. When you bring your work into your room, it’s no longer a place of Zen or peace. Instead, it becomes a place of stress. Keep your work out of your room.
If you’re anything like me, then clutter may also be an issue. At one time in my life, clutter was taking over my sleeping space. I was using my room as a storage space for anything that didn’t fit into any other part of my home. The anxiety of going to bed with all that clutter in there was endlessly distracting; hence my sleep was pretty nonexistent.
3. Optimize Your Sleeping Time With Cool Room Temperature
The optimized sleeping temperature leans more towards the cool side. Have you ever noticed that sleeping in the summer becomes almost nonexistent because it’s too hot outside?
You can get a small air conditioner or use a weighted cooling blanket to help keep you cool. Not only are blankets temperature regulated to stay cool, pillows and bedsheets are also available which have temperature regulating properties.
Harvard Medical School did a study that concluded that when your core temperature is reduced by 1 to 2°F, you conserve energy. Sleeping in a colder room will help your levels to drop that much faster, which allows you to fall asleep quickly for saving energy where you need it most.
Sleeping in a colder room will also boost your metabolism. It will increase brown fat absorption and improve insulin sensitivity.
Studies have shown that people who have experienced the onset of insomnia have a warmer core body temperature immediately before sleep is initiated — sleeping when the core body temperature is still warm results in a state of heightened arousal. Most times, this happens because their body has to lose the heat that keeps them awake. Once again, I reiterate weighted cooling blankets can create that environment for you to fall asleep and increase REM sleep naturally.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Rem Sleep
REM sleep is when dreams take place. Many scientists think that dreams are a way we solve our daily problems. It’s a time when resolutions take place, or we were our way through issues that are bothering.
People who don’t get this type of sleep are always on their toes as well; it increases their stress levels because they haven’t managed to work their way through their issues by dreaming.
Having inadequate or restless sleep may start to undermine our ability to overcome emotional distress related to depression or anxiety. All of our emotions are regulated when we experience deep sleep. When REM is taking place, main awakening hormones such as serotonin, adrenaline, and dopamine are inactive. When these hormones are suppressed, the emotional impact of memory can be appropriately processed and resolved.
Conclusion About How To Increase REM Sleep Naturally
All of us experience sleep differently. We all have life challenges that are different and can negatively influence our sleep time. To increase REM sleep naturally, you can take proactive steps, which will help to improve your sleep health.
Let me know in the comments below how you sleep deeper naturally.
Reading is my favorite thing to do. But other than reading, I enjoy discovering new techniques on how to do something in simpler methods. My daughter likes to call me the Renaissance woman. So I do have to live up to the name.
One of my main issues is sleeping, so I’m always searching for new ways to get a good night sleep, I’m more than happy to share them with you.
My posts are either geared towards pain or self-help. Pain posts because I suffer from ongoing cancer pain. In the past 6 years of my fight with cancer, I have learned many ways to deal with pain, especially when going to bed.
The self-help posts come from my work as a mental health counselor for over 15+ years. My background in counseling training is from UFV and RRU. I also have personal trainer certification from IFA, so I might throw in some exercise posts as well.