What Is REM Sleep?

By on February 1, 2012

REM SleepREM sleep is also known as Rapid Eye Movement sleep. It is one of the stages of sleep, in which the rapid movement of eyes is been observed. Sleeping is very essential process for every one’s life.

Most of the people obsess about their daily work and they forget that they need a sound sleep. So many things will take place in your body while you are sleeping, such as the healing process. During sleep, a person’s immune system would work better because when we are awake our body needs to do several other processes, which require our energy.

The process of sleeping has several stages, each stage of this process is very important.

  • During the first stage of sleeping cycle, it is quit light and very easy to wake up. The eye movements are slow and the duration of this stage is just few minutes. This can be considered as light sleep stage.
  • After sometime the person will enter into second stage. This second stage lasts for a long duration as compared to the first stage. The heart beat would get slow down and brain starts diffusing faster waves. These processes do not occur in sequence. This stage is the true sleep stage.
  • Next the stage 3 and stage 4 of sleep starts, which can be considered as deep sleep stage. In this brain releases smaller and faster waves known as delta waves are released. During this stage rhythmic breathing and limited muscular movement is observed.
  • After ending of the 4th stage REM sleep stage will start. REM is the stage that contains very unique characteristics. Eye movement, heartbeat, and breathing will become faster. Brain waves become very active and the process of dreaming would begin. Once the dream starts; your muscles may get paralyzed. Suddenly if you wake up during REM stage you would probably remain in that paralyzed stage for a little while. Because at that movement your brain would try to respond for something, which is actually not there; so the rapid transition from dream to reality may creates the problem.

REM Sleep Disorder

REM sleep disorder may also occur at this stage. In some cases the person will have really intense dreams or nightmares and can move the legs and arms as if they were awake.

This may become a serious problem for your sleeping partner. Normally this disorder is caused due to the deterioration of the neurons. Smoking, stress, and alcohol may increase the chances of suffering from the nightmares and paralysis while you are sleeping in a dark and quite room can decrease the chances of experiencing those.

During entire sleep cycle, time spent on REM sleep is highest if the person is a small child or baby. REM sleep has been shown to have ways to learning and memory consolidation. Persons who are suffering from REM sleep disorder may also experience difficulties while learning new things.

The exact causes of REM sleep disorder are unknown, this disorder can occur in accordance with several degenerative neurological situations like multisystem atrophy, shy-dragger syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and diffuse lewy body dementia. In 45% of people the cause is associated with sedative-hypnotic withdrawal or alcohol and in 55% of people the cause is unknown.

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