REM sleep, what is it?

Many people ask questions about what sleep is, what happens when people fall asleep, and how long a person needs to rest. The scientific interpretation of the phenomenon sounds like this: sleep is the need of the body with periodically recurring states, turning off consciousness, and the intensity of physiological processes. The phenomenon has features: it occurs in ascending order and has a cyclical nature. The most striking and interesting period is the phase of REM sleep or REM.

The concept and essence of BDG

Below are some interesting facts about REM:

  1. The abbreviation REM means intense eye movement, which is no accident, since in the fast phase the eyeballs are actively moving while people are dreaming. In English, the phase is abbreviated REM ( Rapid eye Movement or phase of rapid eye movements).
  2. By waking an adult in the fast phase, you can get a detailed account of the dream from him.
  3. Blind from birth, people do not see pictures, but feel smells, tastes, sounds or tactile sensations.
  4. Every night a person has dreams, but some of them are forgotten.
  5. At the level of BDG, the acquired knowledge is assimilated.
  6. With a lack of REM sleep, a person experiences drowsiness, problems with concentration.
  7. A baby in the womb spends most of its time in REM sleep.

Sleep is the most important thing in human life. You can live without food for several weeks, without sleep you cannot do even weeks.

Almost everything is known about this side of life by the American psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge , who devoted himself to studying the phenomenon. He scientifically proved that 2 operations take place in the human brain: deep and REM sleep. Their duration is different, and they constantly alternate. The scientist investigated the phenomenon and discovered different stages of brain activity:

  • falling asleep or drowsiness is the preceding phase;
  • followed by a shallow phase;
  • followed by deep sleep or slow phase;
  • followed by BDG or REM.

For the brain, the deep phase is more important. If you do not get enough sleep, the body will reduce the fast phase, giving it a share of the deep stage. During REM sleep, vivid images appear. The productivity of the brain at this moment is the highest. In addition to brain activity, REM sleep is characterized by:

  1. Increased heart rate and pulse.
  2. Frequent breathing.
  3. The absence of snoring.
  4. Lightning movement of the eyeballs.

Duration of REM or REM

How long the REM phase lasts and how often it occurs is interesting for many to know. For an adult, on average, 8 hours are enough for a good rest, where two cycles constantly replace each other. After 1.5 hours (this is how long the slow phase lasts), a fast cycle begins, which lasts 10 minutes in the evening and up to half an hour in the morning. During the night, the change of cycles occurs 4-5 times. The fast phase can occupy only 15–20% of the total state, but it is more difficult to interrupt it than the slow phase.

brain activity

If you do not see eye movements, it is difficult to distinguish between the sleep phase and the waking state. The activity of the brain is the same as that of a non-sleeping person. Different parts of the main organ of the central nervous system specialize in different types of thinking. The brain goes from complete inactivity to near-madness when it switches from a slow phase to a fast phase. During bursts of activity, one area of it sleeps.

At the fast and short level, most of the brain is as active as it is outside of the sleep state. The exception is the most developed lobe – the frontal. She has complex thought processes, but she sleeps during the REM phase. When this area is not involved, thoughts become unrelated and bizarre, as in dreams.

In a short period, a primitive area is activated – the limbic system, which is responsible for emotions. A person, starting to dream, returns to a less rational way of thinking. Often people go to bed with negative emotions accumulated during the day.

Scientists have shown that in the fast phase, the brain begins to explore these feelings. A system is launched where similar situations of the past are stored. The first cycle scans the negative cluster and then plays out in the form of a dream. In the second period, the brain returns to solving the emotional problem. This mechanism makes it possible to meet the new day less excited or frightened.

A nightmare or a recurring plot suggests that the brain can not cope with the problem and is looking for a way out of a difficult situation.

Riddles of REM sleep

Short-term sleep is not fully understood. Scientists cannot answer how important it is and what processes occur during the ten-minute phase. It can be measured, but a way to record visions has not yet been invented. The reports written immediately after waking up do not reflect the whole picture of what happened. After a person opens his eyes, the chemical composition of the brain changes, and dreams elude most. Another aspect of the REM phase that is poorly understood is vision recall. The brain paints images, unrealistic images that disappear quickly after awakening occurs. REM has different features than the other phases and can be characterized by:

  • paralysis of the body, where, in addition to the muscles of the chest, which make respiratory movements, as well as the eye muscles, the rest of the muscles are motionless;
  • a defense mechanism that protects people from harm they can inflict on themselves or others when they fall into a slumber.

The REM phase is not unique to humans. It is noted in all types of mammals. Physiologically speaking, it is possible that animals also dream. The fast phase and the dreams that accompany it are universal and have a biological purpose.

For those who are deprived of this stage, visions come in reality, and the brain tries to compensate for the loss. Disorders associated with the REM phase cause narcolepsy. The disease occurs when REM sleep suddenly interferes with wakefulness. Usually, people go to sleep if they feel the need. The balance between nocturnal phases and wakefulness cannot be disturbed. In the case of narcolepsy, the dreaming period breaks into manifest life with loss of muscle tone and a confused state of consciousness. People with sleeping sickness have a hard time distinguishing fiction from reality. The invasion is always preceded by emotions – laughter, anger, crying and other manifestations. And this means that emotional behavior and REM sleep are interconnected. Perhaps the answer lies in the role that the dreaming stage plays in life.

New Leisure Trends

Finally, it is worth saying how much sleep you need to get enough sleep and how to reduce sleep so as not to harm your health. The modern rhythm requires a reduction in sleep in order to make time for the explicit side of life. For this reason, a polyphasic technique appeared, when a person sleeps several times a day from 20 minutes to an hour. The disadvantages in this case are the absence of the REM phase and falling asleep. It has been observed that the body tries to equalize the total time spent in sleep up to 8 hours. Therefore, no matter how many times people “train” polyphasic rest, there will come a moment of hard and long immersion until the hours of lack of sleep even out and the mechanism improves.

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