The Different Types of Sleep: REM Sleep vs Non-REM Sleep

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Sleep is an important part of your daily routine. This is because you spend about one-third of your time doing it. Quality sleep and getting enough of it through the night is as important to your survival and functioning as food, water and oxygen. When you sleep, your brain and body are resting for long hours. It’s their chance to rest and recover after a tiring day. However, for some time during your sleep, your brain and muscles are active as well! This is because there are two types of sleep you experience. Once is called REM or rapid eye movement sleep and the other is called non-REM sleep. This is because these 2 types of sleep are very different.

Understanding the difference between the 2 types of sleep:

Non-REM sleep

This type of sleep refers to  drowsy sleep, light sleep and deep sleep. When you experience this type of sleep, your mind is tired, you feel very sleepy and you fall into a comfortable sleep. Your brain waves slow down, heart rate and breathing reduces. Moreover, blood pressure drops and your muscles start to relax as well. 

Your sleep gets deeper and deeper during this type of sleep before entering REM sleep. The one standout fact in this type of sleep is that your brain activity is at a minimum and it’s when you’re truly resting. When you go from light to deep sleep, your muscle memory starts to form as they are now resting. Your memories consolidate and your brain’s nerve cells become stronger too!

This type of sleep is essential for you and getting enough non-REM sleep is key. Practicing good sleep habits, eating the right food and exercising helps you boost non-REM sleep quality.

REM sleep

This type of sleep refers to the final stage of your sleep cycle. This is when there is rapid eye movement due to increased brain activity. Your muscles are totally relaxed but your brain activity is at its highest. Your mind is processing information, learning new memories and also allowing you to dream vividly. This stage lasts for only about 5-10 minutes, but becomes longer as you re-enter this stage of sleep. REM sleep is extremely important and its key to get the best REM sleep possible with simple lifestyle changes.

REM sleep is the type of sleep that is needed when you’re too tired at work or devoid of ideas. This is because it helps build creativity and problem solving skills. Eating the right food, not consuming caffeine and alcohol improve this type of sleep.

Enjoy both types of sleep with Evolve's guided audios, which will help you sleep faster!

Boost the amount of REM sleep you get every night and hack your sleep cycles with everyday habits you can incorporate into your day with ease. It will help you sleep better, sleep faster and improve your health and immunity. 

Evolve has a range of joyful sleep audios that will help you sleep better faster. The Evolve app is now live globally on Android & Apple, click here to try for free!