Recent studies show that America is sleep-deprived, to say the least! Around 40 million people per year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleep issues.
Poor sleeping habits lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, memory loss, reduced immune system functionality and even weight gain. Not to mention, reduced sense of overall well-being and even loss of productivity.
Why is Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep so important?
REM fosters positive emotions.
A 2009 study reported that taking a nap that includes a period of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep refreshes the brain’s ability and sensitivity to process human emotions by decreasing a negative outlook to occurring emotions while amplifying the recognition of positive emotions.
The researchers believe that the importance of rapid eye movement sleep is part of a process that increases positive emotions while maintaining high levels of social and professional mental health.
A 2011 study from University of California, Berkeley found that time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep can help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) minimize painful memories. Researches found that during REM sleep, stress chemistry shuts down and the brain processes emotional experiences in a way that can take the edge off painful memories.
Sleep deprivation also impairs our ability to think clearly!
REM (rapid eye movement) is the deepest stage of the sleep cycle that stimulates the brain regions used in learning. So many studies have been done on REM! When sleep is disrupted it literally wreaks havoc in the nervous system and inhibits our ability to receive clarity.
Sleep concerns may be more likely to affect those with existing mental health conditions!
Once upon a time, sleep problems were thought of as just symptoms of mental health conditions, but now research tells us they may contribute to or even be a cause of them. This also means that treating the sleep disorder may help alleviate the symptoms associated with a mental health condition and vice versa.
Scientists still don’t know why dream activity is so critical to healthy brains, but they do agree that having adequate amounts of REM is vital.
REM is the sleep stage associated with the feeling of refreshment the moment you wake up after a good night’s sleep. But it’s more than that: when sleep stages are interrupted, REM sleep is often sacrificed, as it is the last sleep in the cycle to occur before the sleep cycle repeats itself. From there on out you can see how disrupted REM sleep can literally cause just a myriad of health issues both physically and mentally.
Some tips to combat poor sleep are:
-De-stress! Following a regular bedtime routine and wake up time is essential in building consistency in the body’s sleep cycles
-Say NO to caffeine, alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime
-Exercise or move your body any which way during the day. Could be yoga, pilates, gym or even just light stretching before bed.
-Get adequate sunlight if you can during the day. The more exposure to natural light the better!
-Meditate! That’s right, whip out your INSIGHT timer App and meditate away. Slow down those brain waves with Yoga Nidra at Heal. in Altamonte Springs every Monday night from 7:30pm-8:30pm.
-Put away the electronics an hour before bed. No phone, no tv, just you and your breath.
-Adapt a routine using the LAXMAN light and sound therapy machine at Heal. in Altamonte Springs. LAXMAN light and sound machine uses gentle chromatic lights in goggles that stimulate spontaneous bursts of meditation as well as Rapid Eye Movement… all of this synced to Binaural Beats to help the body relax and the mind settle into stillness.
Let us know if you have any questions regarding LAXMAN Light and Sound Therapy as we will be glad to share with you some more information on how this powerful healing service can be of benefit to you.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 407-300-5364.
Until next time,
Peace and Wellness.