Rapid eye movement, or REM for short, is the last stage of every sleep cycle. Its catchy name comes from the fact that during this phase, our eyes shift laterally while we concentrate on an object. We’re glad our eyelids are closed because if they were open, we may give off a creepy vibe. The movement, however, has an end in mind. Dreaming happens during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and this is how we view the events of our dreams, whether they include a magnificent vacation break or the recurring horror of completing final exams years after graduating from high school. In other words, dreaming occurs during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep.
Understanding REM sleep is facilitated by a foundational understanding of sleep cycles. Four to six cycles of ninety-one to one hundred ten minutes each make up a normal night’s sleep. There are four main phases in each cycle. The first three stages of sleep are classified as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) because they do not include rapid eye movement. After then, we enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, during which most of our dreams occur, the most common of which involves us winning the jackpot. So you need to know how much rem sleep do you need.
What precisely occurs during rapid eye movement sleep?
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep comes after NREM3, a period of deep sleep during which your body and brain enter a state of repair, and is characterised by a dramatic slowing of your heart rate and breathing rate. The rapid eye movement (REM) stage at the conclusion of a sleep cycle serves as a kind of transitional phase between the end of one sleep cycle and the start of the next. When you enter REM, your heart rate and breathing rate will accelerate rapidly after having dropped down greatly during NREM3.
- As the name suggests, rapid eye movement (REM) is characterised by rapid eye movement. But why do they act in such a deceptive manner? This is because they are doing an in-depth examination of your dream imagery. Scientists who study sleep have suspected this for a long time, but a 2015 study published in Nature Communications provides definitive proof. As if your mind were a smartphone, your eyes would dart in all directions, connecting with various dream images each time.
- When you’re at rest, your eyes dart back and forth constantly. Because your muscles are paralysed, you can’t really take part in the dreamscapes you’re experiencing. Neurotransmitters like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine block the parts of the brain that regulate muscle movement. Reduced muscle activity is likely a defence mechanism that helps you sleep through the night without responding to the surreal sights that flash before your dreaming eyes.
The usual muscular paralysis that happens during REM sleep may not occur for those with REM sleep behavioural disorder. Because of this, they may scream, flap their limbs, or otherwise move about a lot when they are supposed to be resting. However, every one of us is prone to having a moment when we live out one of our dreams every once in a while, especially after an extremely stressful day.