30 May REM Sleep Importance and Mattress Role
While the average sleeper might not necessarily be an expert on the various stages of sleep that the human body goes through, many are familiar with one particular stage that’s somewhat well-known: REM sleep. Short for “rapid eye movement,” REM is a vital stage of sleep that needs to be prioritized – why is this, and what role can a great mattress play in achieving this goal?
At 2 Brothers Mattress, we’re happy to offer a huge range of mattresses, adjustable beds and other sleep accessories to assist clients around Provo, Salt Lake City, American Fork and other parts of Utah with all their sleep needs. REM sleep is a regular topic we discuss with clients as they search for their ideal mattress – here’s a primer on what it is, why it’s so valuable, and the role a mattress plays in maintaining quality REM sleep.
Defining REM Sleep
As we mentioned above, REM sleep refers to “rapid eye movement” sleep. This is a special stage of sleep that humans and other mammals go through during the night, typically several times over the course of their slumber.
It’s usually characterized by vivid dreaming and increased brain activity – it’s even been observed that some people become physically active during REM sleep, although these movements are limited since the body also goes through a period of paralysis during this stage.
REM Vs Non-REM Sleep
REM sleep is one of two main sleep stages, the other being non-REM sleep (which actually contains four sub-categories of its own). REM sleep, however, is the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep, and is typically the one that’s most important to prioritize.
Specifics on What Happens During REM Sleep
Here are some of the specific effects on both the brain and body during REM sleep:
- Helping encode memories: During REM sleep, the hippocampus and other regions of the brain send signals that help to form new memories – this helps to encode long-term memories in the brain.
- Stimulation of creative thinking: Dreams during REM sleep can often be quite vivid and surreal, leading to a range of fascinating ideas and concepts.
- Helping with problem-solving: Because of the creative environment evoked during REM sleep, many people find it easier to solve complex problems when they wake up afterwards.
- Variable heartbeat: Usually in response to dream content and a lower body temperature, the heart rate during REM sleep can take on unusual rhythms and speeds.
- Freezing skeletal muscles: In what scientists theorize is the body’s attempt to prevent the sleeper from “acting out” their dreams during REM sleep, a paralysis is induced on the body’s skeletal muscles that prevents movement.
One of the single most important roles of REM sleep is the removal of neurotoxins from the brain. During this stage, cerebrospinal fluid is pumped into areas of the brain that contains these toxins, flushing them out and allowing for clearer thinking when one wakes up.
However, if one is not getting enough REM sleep, they may not benefit from this flushing of toxins – this can lead to problems with mental performance and concentration.
Skipping Sleep Usually Means Skipping REM Sleep
Unfortunately, a simply scientific reality is that if one isn’t getting enough sleep (generally 7-9 hours depending on individual needs), they won’t be getting enough REM sleep either. This means that the benefits it offers in terms of memory encoding, creative thinking and toxin removal will also not be realized.
This is because when you have less overall sleep time, your brain opts for lighter stages of sleep and is less likely to hit REM as quickly or as often.
The Role a Mattress Plays in Achieving Quality REM Sleep
It’s clear that achieving quality REM sleep is an important goal for any sleeper – fortunately, it’s one that can be realized with the right mattress.
For starters, the comfort level of your mattress should be high enough to ensure that you don’t wake up during the night due to aches and pains in your body, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that you have a mattress with adequate support to provide proper alignment for your spine – this will help to reduce any pressure points or strain on the body while sleeping.
Finally, a mattress with cooling technology can also help to reduce restlessness and ensure that you get the deepest possible sleep. This is because your body temperature will naturally drop during REM sleep, and a cooler sleeping surface can assist in this process.
Making sure that you prioritize quality REM sleep by getting the right mattress is an essential part of ensuring a restful night – sleep well!
For more here, or to learn about any of our mattresses or other sleep products for clients in SLC, Provo, American Fork and other parts of Utah, contact our team at 2 Brothers Mattress today!