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Journey into the depths. discovering the REM phase of sleep | how to sleep with an ergonomic pillow.

Journey into the depths. discovering the REM phase of sleep | how to sleep with an ergonomic pillow.

The REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase, also known as paradoxical sleep, represents a true state of consciousness in its own right, characterized by intense brain activity and vivid dreams. Sleep is a fascinating and complex journey, marked by different phases, each with its own peculiarities. The objective of this article will not only be to discover how the REM phase works but also how to help it, or improve it, with an ergonomic pillow.

An immersion in dreams

During the REM phase, which occupies approximately 20-25% of total sleep, our eyes move rapidly under closed eyelids, while the body is in a condition of muscular atonia, almost a transient paralysis. Despite the apparent quiet, the brain is buzzing: brain waves take on a pattern similar to that of waking life, with an explosion of electrical activity.

It is precisely in this phase that the most vivid and realistic dreams occur, often populated by intense images, strong emotions and engaging sensations. Memory, creativity and learning consolidation are just some of the cognitive functions that appear to be enhanced during REM sleep.

A complex architecture

The REM phase is not a unitary event, but is structured into different sub-phases, each with specific characteristics:

  • Phase 1 REM: lasts a few minutes and represents the transition from NREM sleep to REM sleep. It is characterized by an increase in heart and respiratory rate, as well as slight muscle activation.
  • REM Phase 2: It is the longest phase of the REM cycle and is characterized by intense brain activity, rapid eye movements and vivid dreams.
  • Phase 3 REM: it is the shortest phase and is associated with almost total muscular paralysis and extremely realistic dreams.

A repeating cycle

The REM phase does not occur in isolation, but alternates with the phases of NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) sleep during the night. Sleep cycles, each lasting about 90 minutes, tend to increase in duration and become richer in REM phase as we get closer to the morning.

Because it is important?

The role of the REM phase is still being studied, but its importance for psychophysical well-being is now evident. Stress, as also highlighted by Focus , is one of the major sources of sleep disturbance in this phase. This activates a series of neurons in the hypothalamus during the night which in turn create a series of micro-awakenings that are not beneficial to our sleep. Various research suggests that insufficient or disturbed REM sleep can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Difficulty concentrating and learning
  • Poor memory
  • Increased irritability and negative mood
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

How to promote restorative REM sleep

Some simple habits can help, in the absence of chronic pathologies, to improve the quality of sleep and, consequently, to increase the duration and intensity of the REM phase:

  • Establish regular times for sleeping and waking up
  • Create an environment conducive to sleep, dark, quiet and cool
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • Practice physical activity regularly, but not in the evening hours
  • Relax before bed with a warm bath, reading or breathing techniques
  • Rely on a quality ergonomic pillow to avoid bad posture and pain during the night.

The REM phase represents a fundamental piece of the sleep mosaic, a fascinating journey into the depths of our mind. Understanding its mechanisms, its importance and promoting its correct execution is essential for our psychophysical well-being and for living a full and fulfilling life.