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How much rem sleep do you need per night

How much sleep do we need and why is sleep important? Most doctors would tell us that the amount of sleep one needs varies from person to person. We should feel refreshed and alert upon awakening and not need a day time nap to get us through the day. Sleep needs change from birth to old age. Learn more about the importance of sleep and understanding the sleep stages. Might you have a sleep disorder?

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Sleep - What is Sleep - Benefits Of Deep Sleep - How Sleep Works - Sleep Cycles

Understanding Sleep Cycles: What Happens While You Sleep

Sleep is an important part of your daily routine—you spend about one-third of your time doing it. Quality sleep — and getting enough of it at the right times -- is as essential to survival as food and water.

Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells neurons communicate with each other. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep. Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.

Everyone needs sleep, but its biological purpose remains a mystery. Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body — from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance. Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.

Sleep is a complex and dynamic process that affects how you function in ways scientists are now beginning to understand. This booklet describes how your need for sleep is regulated and what happens in the brain during sleep. The hypothalamus , a peanut-sized structure deep inside the brain, contains groups of nerve cells that act as control centers affecting sleep and arousal.

Within the hypothalamus is the suprachiasmatic nucleus SCN — clusters of thousands of cells that receive information about light exposure directly from the eyes and control your behavioral rhythm. Some people with damage to the SCN sleep erratically throughout the day because they are not able to match their circadian rhythms with the light-dark cycle.

The brain stem , at the base of the brain, communicates with the hypothalamus to control the transitions between wake and sleep. The brain stem includes structures called the pons, medulla, and midbrain. Sleep-promoting cells within the hypothalamus and the brain stem produce a brain chemical called GABA , which acts to reduce the activity of arousal centers in the hypothalamus and the brain stem. The thalamus acts as a relay for information from the senses to the cerebral cortex the covering of the brain that interprets and processes information from short- to long-term memory.

During most stages of sleep, the thalamus becomes quiet, letting you tune out the external world. But during REM sleep, the thalamus is active, sending the cortex images, sounds, and other sensations that fill our dreams. People who have lost their sight and cannot coordinate their natural wake-sleep cycle using natural light can stabilize their sleep patterns by taking small amounts of melatonin at the same time each day.

The basal forebrain , near the front and bottom of the brain, also promotes sleep and wakefulness, while part of the midbrain acts as an arousal system.

Release of adenosine a chemical by-product of cellular energy consumption from cells in the basal forebrain and probably other regions supports your sleep drive. Caffeine counteracts sleepiness by blocking the actions of adenosine. The amygdala , an almond-shaped structure involved in processing emotions, becomes increasingly active during REM sleep. Each is linked to specific brain waves and neuronal activity. Stage 1 non-REM sleep is the changeover from wakefulness to sleep.

During this short period lasting several minutes of relatively light sleep, your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements slow, and your muscles relax with occasional twitches.

Your brain waves begin to slow from their daytime wakefulness patterns. Stage 2 non-REM sleep is a period of light sleep before you enter deeper sleep.

Your heartbeat and breathing slow, and muscles relax even further. Your body temperature drops and eye movements stop. Brain wave activity slows but is marked by brief bursts of electrical activity. You spend more of your repeated sleep cycles in stage 2 sleep than in other sleep stages. Stage 3 non-REM sleep is the period of deep sleep that you need to feel refreshed in the morning.

It occurs in longer periods during the first half of the night. Your heartbeat and breathing slow to their lowest levels during sleep. Your muscles are relaxed and it may be difficult to awaken you.

Brain waves become even slower. REM sleep first occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep. Your eyes move rapidly from side to side behind closed eyelids. Mixed frequency brain wave activity becomes closer to that seen in wakefulness. Your breathing becomes faster and irregular, and your heart rate and blood pressure increase to near waking levels.

Your arm and leg muscles become temporarily paralyzed, which prevents you from acting out your dreams. As you age, you sleep less of your time in REM sleep. Two internal biological mechanisms —circadian rhythm and homeostasis—work together to regulate when you are awake and sleep. Circadian rhythms direct a wide variety of functions from daily fluctuations in wakefulness to body temperature, metabolism, and the release of hormones.

They control your timing of sleep and cause you to be sleepy at night and your tendency to wake in the morning without an alarm. Circadian rhythms synchronize with environmental cues light, temperature about the actual time of day, but they continue even in the absence of cues.

Sleep-wake homeostasis keeps track of your need for sleep. The homeostatic sleep drive reminds the body to sleep after a certain time and regulates sleep intensity. This sleep drive gets stronger every hour you are awake and causes you to sleep longer and more deeply after a period of sleep deprivation. Factors that influence your sleep-wake needs include medical conditions, medications, stress, sleep environment, and what you eat and drink.

Perhaps the greatest influence is the exposure to light. Specialized cells in the retinas of your eyes process light and tell the brain whether it is day or night and can advance or delay our sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to light can make it difficult to fall asleep and return to sleep when awakened. Night shift workers often have trouble falling asleep when they go to bed, and also have trouble staying awake at work because their natural circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycle is disrupted.

In the case of jet lag, circadian rhythms become out of sync with the time of day when people fly to a different time zone, creating a mismatch between their internal clock and the actual clock. Your need for sleep and your sleep patterns change as you age, but this varies significantly across individuals of the same age.

Babies initially sleep as much as 16 to 18 hours per day, which may boost growth and development especially of the brain. School-age children and teens on average need about 9. Most adults need hours of sleep a night, but after age 60, nighttime sleep tends to be shorter, lighter, and interrupted by multiple awakenings. Elderly people are also more likely to take medications that interfere with sleep.

In general, people are getting less sleep than they need due to longer work hours and the availability of round-the-clock entertainment and other activities. Many people feel they can "catch up" on missed sleep during the weekend but, depending on how sleep-deprived they are, sleeping longer on the weekends may not be adequate.

Everyone dreams. You spend about 2 hours each night dreaming but may not remember most of your dreams. Events from the day often invade your thoughts during sleep, and people suffering from stress or anxiety are more likely to have frightening dreams.

Dreams can be experienced in all stages of sleep but usually are most vivid in REM sleep. Some people dream in color, while others only recall dreams in black and white. Clusters of sleep-promoting neurons in many parts of the brain become more active as we get ready for bed. GABA is associated with sleep, muscle relaxation, and sedation. Norepinephrine and orexin also called hypocretin keep some parts of the brain active while we are awake.

Other neurotransmitters that shape sleep and wakefulness include acetylcholine, histamine, adrenaline, cortisol, and serotonin. Genes may play a significant role in how much sleep we need.

Scientists have identified several genes involved with sleep and sleep disorders, including genes that control the excitability of neurons, and "clock" genes such as Per , tim , and Cry that influence our circadian rhythms and the timing of sleep.

Genome-wide association studies have identified sites on various chromosomes that increase our susceptibility to sleep disorders. Also, different genes have been identified with such sleep disorders as familial advanced sleep-phase disorder, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome.

Some of the genes expressed in the cerebral cortex and other brain areas change their level of expression between sleep and wake. Several genetic models—including the worm, fruit fly, and zebrafish—are helping scientists to identify molecular mechanisms and genetic variants involved in normal sleep and sleep disorders. Additional research will provide better understand of inherited sleep patterns and risks of circadian and sleep disorders.

Your health care provider may recommend a polysomnogram or other test to diagnose a sleep disorder. A polysomnogram typically involves spending the night at a sleep lab or sleep center. It records your breathing, oxygen levels, eye and limb movements, heart rate, and brain waves throughout the night. Your sleep is also video and audio recorded. The data can help a sleep specialist determine if you are reaching and proceeding properly through the various sleep stages. Results may be used to develop a treatment plan or determine if further tests are needed.

Millions of people are using smartphone apps, bedside monitors, and wearable items including bracelets, smart watches, and headbands to informally collect and analyze data about their sleep. Smart technology can record sounds and movement during sleep, journal hours slept, and monitor heart beat and respiration.

Using a companion app, data from some devices can be synced to a smartphone or tablet, or uploaded to a PC. Other apps and devices make white noise, produce light that stimulates melatonin production, and use gentle vibrations to help us sleep and wake.

See a doctor if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively. Scientists continue to learn about the function and regulation of sleep. A key focus of research is to understand the risks involved with being chronically sleep deprived and the relationship between sleep and disease.

People who are chronically sleep deprived are more likely to be overweight, have strokes and cardiovascular disease, infections, and certain types of cancer than those who get enough sleep.

Many mysteries remain about the association between sleep and these health problems. Does the lack of sleep lead to certain disorders, or do certain diseases cause a lack of sleep?

These, and many other questions about sleep, represent the frontier of sleep research. Box Bethesda, MD www.

Health and Wellness

Waking up tired, angry, or cranky? By tapping into your nighttime heart rate and movement patterns, these devices will be able to estimate how much time you spend in light, deep, and rapid eye movement REM sleep. Pretty cool, right? Each of these stages—or sleep types—serve a different purpose, so understanding how much of each stage you log can help you identify and address sleep-related issues. Below, a breakdown of what you need to know about each sleep stage.

Most of us require between 90 to minutes of REM sleep each night, but it can be an elusive sleep stage to reach sometimes. Why is that? Having a few alcoholic beverages in the evening may be contributing to your lack of REM.

When you sleep, your body rests and restores its energy levels. However, sleep is an active state that affects both your physical and mental well-being. A good night's sleep is often the best way to help you cope with stress, solve problems, or recover from illness. Vivid dreams tend to occur during REM sleep.

Sleep Basics

Slow wave sleep, also called deep sleep, is an important stage in the sleep cycle that enables proper brain function and memory. While most adults are aware that they should aim for between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, the science of sleep is quite complex. The two main categories of sleep are called rapid eye movement REM sleep and non-REM sleep, and each has important stages. There may be some ways to get both better sleep and more deep sleep each night, allowing a person to wake up feeling more rested and refreshed. The first stage of the sleep cycle is a transition period during which the body and brain shift from a state of wakefulness to one of sleep. This period is relatively short, lasting only a few minutes, and the sleep is fairly light. People may wake up from this stage of sleep more easily than from other stages. During stage one, the body starts to slow its rhythms down. The heart rate and breathing rate slow down, and the eyes begin to relax. The muscles also relax but may occasionally twitch.

Deep vs. Light Sleep: How Much Do You Really Need?

Over the course of a night, you spend approximately 25 percent of sleep in REM phase. Instead, periods of REM are interspersed among the other stages of sleep as you move through a series of sleep cycles. It typically takes about 90 minutes of sleep to arrive at the first REM period. The first stop of the night in REM sleep is brief, lasting roughly five minutes.

The average person spends around a third of their life asleep.

In fact, while you're getting your zzz's, your brain goes through various patterns of activity. Stage One: Within minutes sometimes even within seconds! This introduction to sleep is relatively brief, lasting up to seven minutes. Here, you are in light stage sleep, which means that you're somewhat alert and can be easily woken.

Natural Patterns of Sleep

Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more. Ah, sleep. Experts say 7 to 9 hours per night is the sweet spot — and while this sounds easy enough in theory, the reality is that life work, errands, happy hour, family time can easily get in the way of that necessary shut-eye.

Our bodies require sleep in order to maintain proper function and health. In fact, we are programmed to sleep each night as a means of restoring our bodies and minds. Two interacting systems—the internal biological clock and the sleep-wake homeostat—largely determine the timing of our transitions from wakefulness to sleep and vice versa. These two factors also explain why, under normal conditions, we typically stay awake during the day and sleep at night. But what exactly happens when we drift off to sleep? Prior to the era of modern sleep research in the early s, scientists regarded sleep as an inactive brain state.

Sleep Health

Sleep is an important part of your daily routine—you spend about one-third of your time doing it. Quality sleep — and getting enough of it at the right times -- is as essential to survival as food and water. Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells neurons communicate with each other. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep. Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake. Everyone needs sleep, but its biological purpose remains a mystery. Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body — from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance.

Aug 13, - How Much Sleep Do You Need? Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep You cycle through all stages of non-REM and REM sleep several times You spend about 2 hours each night dreaming but may not remember most.

Your brain is very active during REM sleep and it is when the most vivid dreams occur. As a precautionary measure, your brain also sends signals to immobilize your arms and legs in order to prevent you from acting out your dreams. REM sleep and deep sleep also referred to as slow wave sleep are very different stages of sleep.

How to Extend Your REM Cycle

Now more than ever, we can quantify exactly how good or bad our sleep patterns are. Each morning you can review your heart rate, breath rate and sleep graphs with information about how much light, deep and REM sleep you had the night before. But all that data only makes sense if you know what you're aiming for and what it all means.

REM, Light, Deep: How Much of Each Stage of Sleep Are You Getting?

Some people require a solid twelve hours of sleep a night, while others are happy with a three hour nap. The amount required is completely dependent on who you are, and tends to be between four and eleven hours each night. However, there are two different types of sleep deep and light and you should really be getting over a certain amount of the deep kind.

Until the s, most people thought of sleep as a passive, dormant part of our daily lives.

That being said, most of us have different sleep phases each night. Most people would attribute the quality of their rest to what kind of sleeper they are. This brings us to light sleep vs. Meanwhile, proclaimed deep sleepers could sleep through a screaming baby using a jackhammer. But everyone experiences both light and deep sleep in their circadian rhythm.

Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep

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What to know about deep sleep

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