The City Mattress Blog

How Much REM Sleep Do You Need?


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We all know that getting enough sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being. But did you know the type of sleep matters as much as the quantity? Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is one of the most important stages of sleep, and it’s essential to get enough of it in order to stay healthy and energized. So what exactly is REM sleep, and how much do you need?

What Is REM Sleep?

REM sleep is one of five stages of sleep, which together make up a complete cycle. It usually occurs 90 minutes after falling asleep and typically makes up 20-25% of total sleep time for adults. During this stage, your eyes move rapidly from side to side beneath closed eyelids, hence the name “rapid eye movement.” This stage is also characterized by increased brain activity and vivid dreaming.

Dreams during REM sleep are typically more vivid, fantastical and/or bizarre, even though they may involve elements of waking life. Research finds that REM sleep and dreams are linked to health benefits like a lower stress response. Yet how and why we dream during REM sleep is still one of science’s most important knowledge gaps. Nevertheless, we know we need it and here’s more about how much of it is necessary.

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How Much REM Sleep Do You Need?

The amount of REM sleep an individual needs depends on their age, lifestyle and other factors. It is also generally correlated to the number of hours of sleep one gets. Generally, adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night, with about 25% of that being REM sleep. Children and adolescents require more sleep than adults and typically experience a higher percentage of REM sleep in each cycle. Babies, for example, may spend as much as 50% of their sleep time in the REM stage.

father sleeping with baby

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It’s important to note that these numbers are just averages. Depending on their lifestyle and individual needs, some people may require more or less. If you feel like you’re not getting enough restful sleep each night, try tracking your sleeping patterns using an app or journaling your feelings each morning when you wake up so that you can identify any potential issues or changes that might help improve your quality of rest.

Benefits of Adequate Amounts of REM Sleep

Studies have shown that getting enough REM sleep can help improve learning and memory, as well as mood. It’s also been linked to better physical health outcomes, such as improved immunity and reduced risk of chronic diseases. Last, recovery after physical activity is improved with adequate amounts of REM sleep. Clearly, getting enough REM sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. 

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Tips for Getting Enough REM Sleep

Getting enough REM sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. When it comes to getting enough REM sleep, the strategy is ensuring less or no periods of wakefulness. By doing this, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle and get the full amount of REM sleep your body needs. 

One of the most important things to consider is your sleeping position. Adjustable beds are a great option as they allow you to adjust the position of your body for maximum comfort, which can help you get better quality sleep. If you don’t have an adjustable bed, adding pillows or wedges can help to adjust your body’s position and ensure optimal support while sleeping.

The type of mattress you use also plays an important role in getting enough REM sleep. For example, a Nectar mattress that focuses on pressure relief allows your body to relax more deeply while sleeping. In general, memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers can be good options for those who suffer from joint or muscle pain, as they provide an extra layer of cushioning that helps relieve discomfort and pain. No pain means less wakefulness, which means a better chance of achieving REM sleep.

happy woman with pillow on bed

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Last, sleep temperature is another factor that should be considered when trying to get enough REM sleep. Research suggests that the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60-67°F (15-19°C). But what is the best sleep temperature for you? That will vary depending on your individual preferences, so experiment and find what works best for you. 

Final Thoughts

Getting enough REM sleep is essential for your overall health. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that you get adequate restful sleep each night and reap the benefits of a healthier mind and body. Happy sleeping, and enjoy those sweet REM dreams.