Copy
Order by midnight tonight to guarantee a pre-Christmas delivery 🎅

Free Shipping from €75

Organic Certified

The Sleep Series- REM Sleep: What, Why, & How

by White Green on March 27, 2019

Sleep is one of the most fundamental aspects of our lives. We spend between a quarter and a third of our life asleep. Sleeping is when our minds and bodies relax and recharge, yet it’s one of the most commonly neglected parts of our daily routine.

 

Why is Sleep so Important?

Not getting enough sleep can damage your brain. Sleep deprivation can cause lowered memory functions, a weakened immune system, heightened blood pressure, trouble focusing and concentrating, impaired judgement, worsened mood, and much more.

“Sleep is essential for the optimal functioning of all of our bodily systems. The ones which have received the most attention include our mental health, cardiovascular health, metabolic health, and immune health (with sleep deprivation associated with increased risks of certain cancers)”

-Dr. Ciara Kelly, Medical Doctor & Lifestyle Blogger

 

Fortunately, the benefits of getting plenty of sleep are great. A restful night’s sleep not only combats all the awful things listed above, but can also promote improved mental functionality and mental health, memory retention, improved mood, concentration, and energy throughout the day.

With all the negatives of not sleeping, and positives to getting enough sleep, it seems like a no-brainer that we should try to get those all-important eight hours of sleep. But it’s not always that easy. All kinds of factors can impact your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep deeply.

 

REM Sleep

Deep sleep, or REM sleep, is the most important part of your night. Sleep takes place in four stages, with REM sleep being the fourth stage. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and is the part of sleeping where memories are organised and stored within the brain, the body is reenergised, and dreaming occurs. This is also when the brain flushes out toxins that build up throughout the day, and the body repairs the immune system and fights off current illness.

REM sleep begins about an hour and a half after you fall asleep and takes place multiple times per night as the brain cycles through the four stages of sleep. That’s why you can have many dreams in one night.

But how do you achieve such a good night’s sleep?

REM Sleep

Here are some tips:

Have a schedule – Your body will naturally develop a circadian rhythm and will always try to follow this. This is a biological clock that tells you when to sleep and wake. If you’ve ever experience jetlag this is a common example of working against your circadian rhythm.

“Hitting the snooze button multiple times doesn’t help you get any more sleep and can leave you feeling more tired. Move your alarm to the other side of the room so you have to get up to switch it off!”

-Lisa Artis, Sleep Blogger at The Sleep Council

 

Create a nightly routine – Having and following a nightly routine is a good way to signal your brain to begin winding down. Plus, you can work certain tasks into your routine, like bathing, skin care, comfy pajamas, etc. Feeling clean and refreshed can eliminate odor or cleanliness-based distractions when trying to fall asleep. Try to keep this routine and soothing and relaxing as possible.

Make your bed, and your room – Having your bed ready to sleep in makes the act of falling asleep simpler and having your room ready for sleep is crucial for creating the right atmosphere. Invest in a good mattress and quality bed sheets, you’ll be grateful for this every night. Avoid bright blue lights, instead opt for dim, soft, yellow lighting. Try to minimize sounds that can distract or wake you, and make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature to sleep in.

REM Sleep

Exercise – This is key to helping tire your body out and keep healthy. If you’ve ever tried to go to sleep and just had too much energy, working out during the day is a good way to avoid this. However, do your exercise at least a few hours before you plan to go asleep, because while it can tire you in the long run, exercising helps to wake up the body for the couple hours following.

Avoid screens – Electronic screens emit a blue light that signals the brain to stay awake. Screen use in low-lighting can cause eye-strain, which can lead to headaches, and that makes sleeping tough. The content on the screen can also get your mind going and leave you laying in bed thinking about the things you read/wrote/watched.

Don’t just lay there – If you do find yourself laying in bed unable to fall asleep it’s important to get up and do something. Laying there without interruption can cause you to fixate on your lack of sleep and occupy your mind. Breaking the action of tossing, turning, and staring at the ceiling can help your mind reset for another shot at sleeping. Try washing your face, reading a book, or going out for a quick breath of fresh air.

Avoid consumption – In the few hours before you plan to go to sleep it’s important to avoid consuming certain things. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can all interrupt your ability to sleep. And while some may help you get to sleep, they work against deep sleep and staying asleep. The same goes for eating. It’s alright to have a little snack if it means you won’t have hunger pains keeping you up, but try to have your large meals well in advance of bedtime so that your body can properly digest.

 

Sleep REM

 

Invest in Good Sleep

Sleeping is an important part of all our lives and is crucial to being your best self. All the elements that make sleep happen, and more importantly, that make good deep sleep happen are an investment. It can be hard to change your daily routine, but the investment is worth it. Once you start sleeping well every night you’ll never want to go back.

 

 

BACK TO TOP