5 Simple Tips for Getting Better REM Sleep



Sleep is an essential part of our lives. Proper sleep is key to the proper functioning of the mind and body. It is crucial for maintaining concentration and a healthy immune system. Furthermore, we eliminate waste, release hormones, and undergo cell repair during sleep. Unfortunately, according to AHR reports, 32.9% of adults surveyed in New York reported having insufficient sleep on a regular basis.

While sleeping, we go through four stages of light and deep sleep, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep is the final stage in the sleep cycle. REM Sleep is different from other stages since, during this stage, our eyes move within our eyelids, our blood pressure fluctuates, and our brain areas associated with learning and memory are stimulated. You are also most likely to dream during REM sleep.

Getting good REM sleep is vital for normal brain and body function. Conditions like chronic insomnia and sleep deprivation can impact the time spent in REM sleep, significantly affecting your quality of life. Hence, getting your recommended hours of sleep should be a priority.

Here are some simple tips to follow to get better REM Sleep:

1. Create an ideal sleep environment

The environment you choose to sleep in can significantly affect the quality of your sleep. If your room is too noisy or hot, you might feel uncomfortable and unable to sleep properly. A good sleeping environment will help you get your recommended amount of sleep.

A proper setup for sleeping should ideally include a comfortable bed. If you’re in the state of New York, it’s highly likely that you aren’t receiving adequate sleep, and that might just be because your mattress isn’t doing its job. If you feel like your mattress is uncomfortable or old, you can consult the best mattress stores in NYC and consider replacing your mattress. Investing in a mattress that helps you feel cozy after a long day can be a game changer in your sleeping habits. Paired with a sturdy bed and clean, comfortable sheets, a good mattress can improve your sleep cycle and stimulate more REM sleep.

Other factors that create an ideal sleeping environment include sleeping in a cool, dark room to help prepare your brain and get you into sleep mode. A room with bright lights or a stuffy, hot room can hinder your ability to relax. You should also ensure that your room is quiet and silent since noisy environments can prove exhausting and inappropriate for sleep.

2. Develop a sleep schedule

Having a schedule in place can optimize any aspect of your life, which includes sleep. When you have a good sleep schedule and proper bedtime practices, you get used to a routine that prepares your brain and body to sleep, and you can fall asleep faster.

A sleep schedule includes sleeping at the same time every day, which will take a few days to adjust to. Choosing a narrow time window to sleep every day will get your mind used to considering that as your bedtime, helping you fall asleep faster. Another strategy is to wake up at the same time every day and not sleep despite being tired or sleepy. This practice will get our bodies used to a consistent sleep schedule, restoring the natural sleep rhythm we should be following.

Napping or sleeping at unusual times, sleeping excessively, or having too much light exposure before sleeping can disturb your sleep schedule, and you should avoid these practices. Eating very close to your bedtime can also make you feel heavy and energetic, which can cause problems in attempting to sleep. A proper sleep schedule promotes longer sleep with the required amount of REM sleep.

3. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly

A healthy diet and regular exercise can benefit you in numerous ways, and these habits are also associated with improved sleep. A good workout routine of 20 to 30 minutes a day can improve the quality of your sleep if done a few hours before bed, since heavy exercise right before bedtime can prove counter-productive.

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can boost your health. Incorporating foods that help promote good sleep, like magnesium-rich foods, will improve your sleeping habits. Magnesium is known to be important in regulating the sleep mechanism, which will improve your REM sleep. Avoiding foods that boost your energy right before bed can also be helpful.

Most importantly, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before sleep or in the later hours of the day is essential. Caffeine is a stimulant and can make you active, which makes falling asleep difficult. Alcohol can also interfere with your REM sleep, and it is best to avoid regular intake.

4. Use relaxation techniques

Getting yourself ready for bed can include having a bedtime routine that helps you relax and unwind. Using techniques that work for you, like reading a book, meditating, or taking a warm bath, can help calm your mind.

You can alternatively use techniques like aromatherapy, which is gaining popularity, as a way to calm yourself and help you fall asleep. Aromatherapy incorporates essential oils like lavender oil, which can help you relax. You can use a diffuser, apply these oils directly to your skin, or use fabric kept near you to enjoy the smells, which can promote calmness and drowsiness.

Using white noise can also help you fall asleep faster, as indicated by recent research. White noise contains sounds of all frequencies, which help block other noises that can be distracting and make it difficult to fall asleep.

5. Spend less time in bed awake

Spending time in bed during the day can lead to difficulty falling asleep at night. When we spend our waking hours on the bed, our mind can associate it with wakefulness, which is an example of classical conditioning. By avoiding laying on your bed when not sleeping, you can associate the image of a bed with sleep, which has proven particularly helpful to people with chronic sleep disorders.

When you are unable to sleep at night, lying awake in bed can worsen your problems since you can associate it with feelings of anxiety and wakefulness. A good idea can be to get out of bed and perform activities that promote sleep, like listening to relaxing music or reading a book, until you feel sleepy and ready for bed. Good quality sleep will ensure you get your recommended sleeping time, improving your chances of reaching REM sleep.

REM sleep is an essential part of our sleep cycle, and it can help improve our memory and regulate our emotions while awake. Getting the required amount of REM sleep includes sleeping for an adequate amount of time uninterrupted, which increases your chances of reaching REM sleep regularly.