While all of the sleep stages are important, REM sleep plays a specific role in processing and storing information, allowing you to retain memories and lock down what you’ve learned during the day. Most of us require between 90 to 110 minutes of REM sleep each night, but it can be an elusive sleep stage to reach sometimes. Why is that? In this article, we’ll explore a few possible scenarios for why REM sleep is escaping you, as well as some tried and true tips to up your minutes in REM sleep, so your mind feels rejuvenated and refreshed in the morning.
How to check how much REM sleep you are getting?
If you’re not sure how much REM sleep your getting, try tracking your sleep using SleepScore App (it’s free!) You can see how many minutes you were in REM sleep, how you compare to others your age and gender, and more. Download for free app today from the App Store and Google Play Store!
How to Achieve More REM Sleep
There are a multitude of things you can do to enter all the necessary sleep stages, including REM, every night. To increase your time in the REM stage, you’ll need to think about your sleep cycle as a whole. These tips will allow you to enter light, deep, and REM stages more easily and consistently, resulting in improved sleep health and a brighter tomorrow.
- Make exercise a daily priority. As research tells us, a single day of exercise likely won’t make a difference in REM sleep, but physical activity on a regular basis can yield improvements. Try adding a 20-minute walk into your day, and slowly increase it to 30 minutes, and then 40. There’s also yoga, swimming, jogging, or any other light to medium physical activity. Just do what you enjoy most! Be sure to plan your workout no later than 3 hours before bedtime. This ensures your body has time to wind down. To find the energy you need to exercise each day requires good sleep. Check out these sleep products tested and scored by sleep experts to help you feel more energy.
- Plan your sleep and wake times. Keeping your sleep schedule intact every day is critical to entering the necessary sleep stages regularly. Try to get to bed at the same time each night, and allow for at least 7 hours to pass before you need to wake up. Over time, your body will acclimate to the schedule, you’ll more easily enter light, deep, and REM stages in full, and you may even find waking up to be easier!
- Find creative outlets for stress. If stress is consuming your life, it can impede your ability to get the rest that you need. Some people like to workout, write in a journal, practice meditation, and gratitude, or utilize other methods like aromatherapy to manage stress appropriately.
- Be mindful of your beverage intake. Hydrating during the day will keep your body healthy, and reduce wake ups to use the restroom. And while that second glass of wine is so tempting, maybe think twice about it. We recommend having your last drink at least three hours before bed.
No two sleepers are the same. We all have different challenges in life that can negatively influence our nightly rest. You can take proactive steps like these to improve your sleep health. You may find yourself getting the necessary REM sleep your mind needs!
Download the free SleepScore App for insights on how well you sleep, the quality and quantity of your sleep cycles, and sleep improvement progress with science-backed tips and insights. Personalized advice, goals and challenges are available with an optional premium upgrade, but you can try SleepScore Premium for 7 days free (for a limited time).