Adequate sleep maintains optimal health in both body and mind.

Infographic: How to Get More REM Sleep: Proven Strategies for Quality RestSleep helps your body:

Sleep helps your mind:

Let’s explore REM, why it’s important, and how to get more REM sleep.

What Is REM Sleep and Why Is It Important?

Your sleep architecture is divided into 90-minute cycles. Each cycle includes stages of lighter sleep, deeper sleep, brief periods of wakefulness, and REM sleep.

REM stands for “rapid eye movement” because, during this stage of sleep, our eyes move rapidly under our eyelids. Brain waves during this stage are the same as when we’re awake, but we cannot use our muscles, so we can’t move. During this sleep stage, we dream, and the inability to move our muscles prevents us from acting out our dreams.

During this crucial stage, our brains consolidate our memories, and we attach emotional impact to them.

Quote: How to Get More REM Sleep: Proven Strategies for Quality Rest

How to Get More REM Sleep With Better Sleep Habits

The sleep cycles that repeat every night are influenced by other bodily functions (some related to hormone release) that occur earlier in the day. How these cycles are timed determines how well we achieve REM sleep that night.

You can improve and increase your REM sleep with some simple changes in your sleep habits.

Many people have heard advice about light exposure, including avoiding blue light before bed, but there’s much more to “light theory” and circadian rhythms. Research demonstrates that the best light exposure to optimize your circadian rhythm is “first morning light” or “dawn light.” It’s one of the most potent signals we have to set (or reset) our circadian rhythms. Sleeping well at night begins with good light exposure first thing in the morning.

I’ve also discussed the TUO Life Bulb, which you can use at home to obtain good morning light exposure.

Another crucial step is to avoid the alarm clock whenever possible. Waking up to an alarm clock isn’t a pleasant way to start your day. Also, the last 90-minute sleep cycle of the night contains the most REM sleep. An alarm clock interrupts your natural sleep cycle at possibly the worst time — at the end, robbing you of valuable REM sleep.

Alarm clocks are REM killers, but they aren’t the only ones. Anything that hurts your sleep hurts your REM sleep. For example, obstructive sleep apnea is one of the biggest sleep impairers we help our members tackle, but we have a not-so-secret weapon.

How Banner Peak Health Can Help You Get More REM Sleep

We’re excited to work with a new sleep image device that allows you to screen for obstructive sleep apnea by wearing a small rubber ring that transmits a signal to your smartphone.

Through advanced technology and other lifestyle changes, we enjoy helping our members figure out how to get more REM sleep and feel refreshed daily.

How to Get More REM Sleep by Changing Lifestyle Factors

Any factor that enhances your sleep quality also enhances your REM sleep.

My best advice regarding how to get more REM sleep is:

  • Be cognizant of the chemicals you ingest (e.g., alcohol, caffeine) and their effect on your body. Some patients are more sensitive than others.
  • Use stress-reduction techniques like meditation.
  • Follow the suggestions in this blog post.
  • Get adequate exercise.

If you need more help or have additional questions, reach out. We’re happy to talk.

Sleep is medicine. It affects every aspect of your health. Getting adequate sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body. Don’t underestimate its value.