If you wake up tired in the morning, you may have had little REM sleep. Tips and tricks to increase it and feel rejuvenated

REM sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on health and daily life. Find out how to increase this phase to feel more rested

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REM sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on health and daily life. Find out how to increase this phase to feel more rested

Insomnia, undiagnosed sleep disorders and chronic sleep deprivation can cause a lack of REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), which can have a serious impact on quality of life and health.

Sleeping well is important for our body and mind, because without a good rest it is difficult to concentrate, ours immune system weakens and we can become short-tempered. But how long should we sleep? And how much REM sleep should we have each night? Stages of sleep, what are they and how many hours of deep sleep does your body need to regenerate?

REM sleep, often referred to as stage 5, is the time you are most likely to dream. Your arms and legs are temporarily paralyzed during this phase to prevent you from physically achieving your dreams. While there is no official consensus on how much REM sleep you should have, the experts believe that the dream helps to process emotions and to consolidate certain memories and feel regenerated upon awakening. For most adults, REM sleep takes up around 20-25 percent of sleep, which is at least one-fifth of the hours. If fundamental to restore all the physical and emotional faculties, one should not even exaggerate: one study recently identified, in fact, that greater amounts of REM sleep could be associated with depression. 


How to get better REM sleep

There are some things you can do for get better REM sleep. Before you understand what works for you, you may need to try more than one.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Develop a sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This prepares your body for sleep and wakefulness.
  • Don't drink caffeine or smoke cigarettes throughout the day: These are stimulants and can interfere with sleep.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages at night: While they may initially make you sleepy, they actually interfere, particularly REM sleep.
  • Prepare one relaxing sleep routine before going to bed: for example, with hot baths, relaxing music such as classical music or reading a good book.
  • Exercise regularly: Aim to work out about 20-30 minutes a day, but do it several hours before bed.
  • Create a ideal sleeping environment: this means no bright lights, neither too hot nor too cold, and not watching television or working on the computer in the bedroom.
  • If you can't sleep, don't stay awake in bed, but get up and go to another room and do something quietly, like reading or listening to soothing music, until you're sleepy.
  • Replace your pillows: If you've had pillows for more than a year, consider replacing them. This may make you rest more comfortable.

If nothing seems to work, talk to a doctor who may have other suggestions, such as running some tests to see if there is one underlying cause of sleep problems. (Read also: Insomnia: 10 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Don't Get Enough Sleep)


Without deep sleep and REM sleep you could become irritable and have difficulty concentrating, in the long run this could compromise your work performance and quality of life. Yes, because the chronic sleep deprivation it can be very unpleasant.

It is essential to ensure that you sleep not only in the right amount, but also in quality. Hence, one is appropriate medical evaluation before taking any medications or supplements to help you rest well, especially since some sleep medications can be addictive.

Mental health conditions

It is known that some psychiatric conditions affect sleep and REM sleep. These include the schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depressive disorder. All have been associated with REM sleep problems. Treatment of the psychiatric condition along with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) help normalize sleep.

Chronic insomnia

THEchronic insomnia it often has multiple causes, and the correct evaluation and treatment of all the contributing causes is essential to obtain the maximum therapeutic benefit. Extensive evaluation should be performed in all patients to identify predisposing and triggering factors such as depression, anxiety, pain and drugs which could interfere with sleep.

If you are living with chronic insomnia, the main treatment is the cognitive behavioral therapy. According to some researchers, whether your doctor prescribes a sleep aid for you, the specific medication will depend on

  • your symptoms
  • the objectives of the treatment
  • your medical history 
  • the cost
  • potential adverse effects

(Read also: Don't challenge your biological clock! If you go to bed too late you risk this newly discovered side effect)


There are also supplements that you can use to help you sleep better. It's important to remember that while they're non-prescription and can be considered completely natural, that doesn't mean they're necessarily safe.

Consequently, it is always appropriate talk to a doctor before using any supplements to make sure they are safe and will not interfere with any other medications you may be taking.

- useful supplements for good sleep They include:

  • melatonin
  • valerian root
  • magnesium
  • chamomile
  • tryptophan
  • glycine
  • L-theanine
  • ginkgo biloba

When to seek assistance

We all need sleep, but most of all we need good sleep to function well. The sleep restores our bodies and minds, and without enough REM sleep you won't feel refreshed or rejuvenated.

If you have daytime sleepiness or exhaustion that interferes with your work or daily life, we recommend that you always speak to a doctor who may want to perform a sleep test or a physical examination in order to exclude any underlying causes of these disorders.

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On sleep disorders could it be interesting for you:

  • Watching Netflix late or reading emails reduces fertility: the study
  • Sleeping with the TV and lights on makes you gain weight
  • Tell me what kind of insomnia you have and I'll tell you who you are: the scientists' test
  • Women need more sleep (at least 20 minutes), here's why
  • Insomnia: 10 Recipes And Remedies That Help You Sleep
  • Insomnia: 10 Plants That Help Us Sleep Better


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