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What Is REM Sleep? Here's Why You Need It

Here we share the many reasons why getting REM sleep is essential for good health.

What Is REM Sleep? Heres Why You Need It

REM sleep is essential for cognitive function, emotional well-being & physical health

REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is one of the four stages of sleep that occur in recurring cycles throughout the night. It's characterised by rapid eye movements, increased brain activity, and vivid dreams. In this article, we discuss the various reasons why getting REM sleep is essential for good health.

Here are 10 reasons why we need to get REM sleep:

1. Memory consolidation

REM sleep plays a crucial role in consolidating memories, particularly procedural and emotional memories. During this stage, the brain processes and stores information acquired throughout the day, which is essential for learning and cognitive function.

2. Brain development and plasticity

REM sleep is especially important for brain development in infants and children. It supports the growth and maturation of neural connections, promoting cognitive development, emotional regulation, and adaptive behaviour.

3. Emotional regulation

REM sleep is associated with emotional processing and regulation. It helps regulate mood, reduce stress, and process emotional experiences, which is essential for mental well-being and resilience.

4. Creativity and problem-solving

REM sleep is linked to creative thinking and problem-solving skills. It facilitates associative thinking, insight generation, and the integration of diverse ideas, leading to enhanced creativity and innovation.

5. Neurological health

REM sleep is crucial for maintaining neurological health and function. It supports the repair and regeneration of brain cells, protects against neurodegenerative diseases, and helps prevent cognitive decline with aging.

6. Stress reduction

REM sleep plays a role in stress reduction and relaxation. It regulates the body's stress response systems, lowers cortisol levels, and promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation, which are essential for overall health and well-being.

7. Immune function

REM sleep is important for immune function and defence against infections. It supports the production of cytokines and other immune factors, enhances immune surveillance, and helps the body fight off pathogens, keeping us healthy and resilient.

8. Physical restoration

REM sleep is involved in physical restoration and recovery. It promotes muscle relaxation, tissue repair, and the release of growth hormones, which are essential for physical growth, repair, and recovery from daily wear and tear.

9. Hormonal regulation

REM sleep regulates the release of various hormones, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are involved in mood regulation, stress response, and arousal. It helps maintain hormonal balance and supports overall hormonal health.

10. Cardiovascular health

Adequate REM sleep is important for cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of heart disease. It regulates blood pressure, heart rate variability, and other cardiovascular parameters, contributing to a healthy heart and circulatory system.

In summary, REM sleep is essential for cognitive function, emotional well-being, physical health, and overall vitality. Getting sufficient REM sleep is crucial for optimal brain function, emotional regulation, immune defence, and long-term health and well-being.

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