What is the difference between REM sleep and non REM sleep?

REM Sleep

Sleep is triggered by a group of hormones in the body. These hormones react to cues within the body and in the environment. There is an approximate 80 percent of sleep time without dreams. This stage of dreamless sleep is referred to as NREM which stands for non-rapid eye movement. Dreams occur primarily during rapid eye movement or REM. 

During non-rapid eye movement sleep or NREM, the breathing and heart rates are slow and the blood pressure goes down. Based on the Rechtschaffen and Kales standardization of the year 1968, NREM was divided into 4 stages. However, it has been reduced to 3 by The American Academy of Sleep Machine in 2007. 

What are three phases of nonREM sleep?

Stage 1 – This stage mostly occurs in the start of sleep wherein theta wave emerges while alpha waves vanish. Those who are aroused from this stage believe that they have been completely awake. It is also in this stage when the body experiences hypnic jerks. 

Stage 2 – In this stage, dreaming is rare and no eye movement takes place. The sleeper may also be wakened easily. 

Stage 3 – This is also referred to as slow-wave sleep of SWS, wherein deep sleep takes place. This is also the stage when dreaming occurs. However, the content of slow-wave sleep is likely to be less memorable, less vivid and disconnected than those in rapid eye movement sleep. 

On the other hand, rapid eye movement sleep also known as REM or dream stage sleep, is a normal phase of sleep making up between 20% and 25% of the whole sleep time. Apart from the swift movement of the eyes, this stage is also characterised by low muscle tone. 

Human beings usually experience 4 to 5 REM sleep periods during a usual full session of sleep, and the last is longer than the first one. According to sleep experts, the brain neurons are as dynamic during rapid eye movement sleep as they are when the body is awake. However, atonia, a relaxed state of the skeletal muscles, makes the body paralyzed during REM. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of REM sleep is normal?

Adults mostly have Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM Sleep) or Dream stage sleep around 25% of the whole sleep time. Study shows that having REM Sleep for 20-25% is healthy when you get 7 hours of sleep.

Is dreaming a sign of good sleep?

Dreaming about a good thing seems to be a good sign for your new day. Your tomorrow is more positive and fill with great energy. Dreaming about bad events may wake you up from your deep sleep and cause you Insomnia. However Sleep Experts has not found a solid correlation between dream and good sleep.

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