REM sleep

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Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a stage of sleep characterized by fast eye movements, increased brain activity, and vivid dreaming. It is considered one of the five stages of sleep, and occurs in cycles throughout the night, with the longest REM periods typically occurring in the early morning hours.

What happens in REM sleep?

During REM sleep, the body becomes temporarily paralyzed, preventing people from acting out their dreams and potentially injuring themselves. This stage of sleep is thought to be important for regulating mood, consolidating memories, and supporting brain development.

What percentage of sleep is REM?

REM sleep typically makes up 20-25% of an adult's total sleep time and decreases as a person ages. Disruptions to REM sleep can be caused by a variety of factors, including sleep disorders, medications, and alcohol use.

Disruptions in REM sleep

If you are experiencing disruptions to your REM sleep, it is important to consult a sleep doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.


The diagnosis is usually clinical although a sleep studies might be ordered to rule out other sleep conditions.


Treatment may involve lifestyle changes, such as adjusting the sleep environment or maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, as well as medication or therapy for underlying sleep disorders.

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W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep & Medspa Centers

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