REM Sleep is one of the most important life factors affecting our health and happiness. Too much can have you worn out and sore, and too little can weaken your body’s defenses and leave you tired and sluggish. Getting more REM sleep is a delicate balancing act that gets easier with time and effective habits. Continue reading below to find out more!
Insomnia, undiagnosed sleep disorders, and chronic sleep deprivation can result in a lack of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A lack of REM sleep can have a serious impact on your quality of life — and your health.
Good sleep is important for our bodies and minds. Without it, it’s hard to concentrate, our immune system is weakened, and we can become short-tempered, just to name a few things.
There are ways to get better sleep, with or without medications.
Tips to get better REM sleep:
- Develop a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This primes your body for sleep and waking.
- Don’t drink caffeine or smoke cigarettes later in the day. These are stimulants and can interfere with sleep.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks at night. Though they may initially make you sleepy, they actually interfere with sleep, particularly REM sleep.
- Put together a relaxing sleep routine before bed. Warm baths, relaxing music like classical music, or quietly reading are all good activities.
- Get regular exercise. Try to get about 20 to 30 minutes a day, but do so several hours before bed.
- Create an ideal environment for sleep. That means no bright lights, not too hot and not too cold, and don’t watch television or work on the computer in the bedroom.
- If you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed awake. Get up and go into another room and do something quietly, like read or listen to relaxing music, until you’re sleepy.
- Replace your pillows. If you’ve had your pillows for more than a year, consider replacing them. This might make you more comfortable for sleep.
If nothing works, talk with a medical professional. They may have other suggestions, run some tests to see if there’s an underlying cause for your sleep issues or talk with you about prescribing medication. We all need sleep — good sleep — in order to function. Sleep restores our bodies and minds, and without enough REM sleep, you won’t feel rested or rejuvenated. If you have daytime sleepiness or exhaustion that’s interfering with your work or day-to-day functioning, talk with a medical professional. They might want to run sleep tests or do a physical to rule out any underlying causes.
Adequate REM sleep is necessary for good health and proper functioning. Chronic sleep deprivation can negatively impact your quality of life — but it doesn’t have to. There are ways to get better sleep. If lifestyle changes don’t help with sleep, talk with your doctor about medications, either over-the-counter or prescription, that might be helpful to you.