What are the key signs your REM sleep is out of balance?
“As REM sleep is linked to memory and cognitive function, one of the biggest indicators that you’re not meeting your REM sleep quota is how emotionally resilient you are. When we sleep poorly, we aren’t able to process our emotions, and this means we struggle to control our more extreme ones. It’s common for those suffering from sleep deprivation to feel weepy, or very angry about the smallest things, waiting for someone to trigger them. We also struggle to concentrate, make sensible decisions, be alert and productive.” – James Wilson, sleep expert at Issviva
If you use a sleep tracker, what kind of pattern should you be looking for?
“When tracking REM sleep with a device like an Oura ring or Whoop band, you should aim to see a pattern of multiple REM cycles throughout the night. Generally, the first REM cycle will occur about 90 minutes after you fall asleep, and subsequent cycles will become longer as the night goes on. It’s normal to spend around 20-25% of your sleep time in REM sleep.” – Jim
“If you are suffering from sleep issues, a sleep tracker can be a helpful way to collect data that can then be used to find patterns that might be contributing to sleep problems. However, maintain some critical distance and take the data with a pinch of salt. An app or tracker can only tell you so much. For a truly accurate understanding of your sleep stages, you’d need to undergo a clinical sleep study, monitoring things like brain waves, heart rate and blood oxygen.” – Theresa