Did you know that our REM stage of our sleep helps to empty our metaphorical ‘stress bucket’ and make us feel more relaxed?  It also helps us to manage our weight, sleep better, improve our memory and process emotions. 

What Is REM Sleep?

(REM) Rapid eye movement sleep is one of the four stages that the brain goes through during the sleep cycle.   As part of a full night’s sleep, we cycle through four stages of sleep multiple times.   With each new cycle we spend increasing amounts of time in REM sleep with most of our REM sleep taking place in the second half of the night.  The first REM phase happens 60-90 minutes into sleep and lasts for about 10 minutes. Around 20% of our sleep time is in REM sleep.

What Happens During REM Sleep?

During REM sleep, our eyes move rapidly behind our closed eyes, our heart rate speeds up, and our breathing becomes irregular.  Our brain is highly active during REM sleep.

All sleep is important, but REM sleep plays an important role in dreaming, memory, emotional processing, and healthy brain development.

  • The majority of our dreams take place during REM sleep and they tend to be more vivid than non-REM sleep dreams.  Also during REM sleep, most muscles are paralyzed, which keeps us from acting out our vivid dreams.
  • These REM sleep dreams may be involved in emotional processing.   Our amygdala, the part of our brain that processes emotions, activates during REM sleep.
  • During REM sleep, our brain processes new learnings and skills from the day, committing some to memory, maintaining others, and deciding which ones to delete.

What happens if we don’t have enough REM sleep?

There are certain situations when REM sleep may be either reduced or absent from sleep.  And less hours of sleep can lead to a reduction in the time spent in REM, but the percentage of the night in REM sleep may actually increase.

If we don’t get enough REM sleep:

  • Our coping mechanisms are reduced
  • We may suffer from migraines due to change of levels in certain proteins
  • We are more prone to being overweight
  • We may suffer from bad memory and learning skills
  • There is a higher risk of anxiety, due to an over-stimulated amygdala

How can solution focused hypnotherapy help with your REM sleep?

The more stress and worry we have, the more our ‘stress bucket’ fills up and can overflow.  This has a negative impact on our ability to sleep properly and if we aren’t getting enough sleep, this affects the REM stage of our sleep.  This is important to understand because during the REM stage of our sleep, we are able to empty our ‘stress bucket’

Relaxation is the strongest, most powerful treatment for symptoms created by anxiety and stress, and hypnotherapy can help to induce a deep, relaxed state by mirroring REM. 

Clients will also be given a relaxation audio as an MP3 download or CD which helps to recreate the trance state outside of the sessions and will help you to relax, reduce tension and sleep better.

Solution focused hypnotherapy can help with your sleep patterns and improve the quality of your REM sleep.  Contact Jo on 07904 500307 for more information and to book your free initial consultation.