Sleep Stage Rapid Eye Movement (REM (Rapid Eye Movement))

Last Updated: March 31, 2020

Definition - What does Sleep Stage Rapid Eye Movement (REM (Rapid Eye Movement)) mean?

The REM sleep cycle is characterized by the eyes moving rapidly in different directions, body paralysis in most people, the occurrence of dreams and an increase in breath and heart rate. REM sleep is important to occupational health and safety because research suggests that REM sleep is imperative in learning, memory function and mood balance.

WorkplaceTesting explains Sleep Stage Rapid Eye Movement (REM (Rapid Eye Movement))

When an individual is asleep, the body cycles between REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM sleep cycles. The REM Sleep Cycle is generally a shorter cycle than non-REM sleep and can cycle through multiple times in a given period. REM sleep usually occurs approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep, first lasting for 10 minutes but gradually with cycles lasting longer. The REM cycle accounts for 20-25% of adults' sleep cycle, and approximately 50% of infants' sleep cycle.

The brain activity in the REM cycle is similar to the brain's activity when awake, with the brain consuming more oxygen in the REM cycle than in non-REM cycles. Individuals who do not experience body paralysis during the REM cycle tend to act out their dreams. Lack of REM sleep has been correlated with migraines, obesity, inability to process information and lack of coping skills.

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