How Much REM Sleep Do You Need?

How Much REM Sleep Do You Need?

Understanding the right amount of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep your body needs is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. REM sleep is one of the four stages of the sleep cycle and plays a vital role in cognitive functions, memory consolidation, and mood regulation. But how much REM sleep do you actually need? Let’s dive in and find out.

What is REM Sleep?

REM sleep is a unique phase of the sleep cycle characterized by rapid movement of the eyes, increased brain activity, vivid dreams, and temporary muscle paralysis. It typically occurs multiple times during a night’s sleep, with each REM phase lasting longer than the previous one. On average, adults spend about 20-25% of their sleep in the REM stage.

Importance of REM Sleep

  1. Cognitive Function: REM sleep enhances learning and problem-solving skills. It helps the brain process information and form long-term memories.
  2. Emotional Health: This stage of sleep is crucial for emotional regulation. Lack of REM sleep can lead to increased stress and mood disorders.
  3. Physical Health: REM sleep contributes to physical health by supporting the immune system, cell regeneration, and overall recovery processes.

How Much REM Sleep Do You Need?

The amount of REM sleep needed can vary depending on age, lifestyle, and overall health. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Infants (0-1 year): 50% of their sleep is REM, which is crucial for brain development.
  • Children (1-12 years): They need about 9-12 hours of sleep, with around 20-25% in REM.
  • Teenagers (13-18 years): Approximately 8-10 hours of sleep is recommended, with 20-25% in REM.
  • Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours of sleep per night is optimal, with 20-25% in REM.
  • Older Adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours of sleep is ideal, with a similar percentage of REM sleep.

Factors Affecting REM Sleep

Several factors can influence the amount of REM sleep you get each night:

  1. Sleep Disorders: Conditions like sleep apnea and insomnia can disrupt REM sleep.
  2. Medications: Some medications, particularly antidepressants, can affect REM sleep patterns.
  3. Lifestyle Choices: Alcohol, caffeine, and irregular sleep schedules can reduce REM sleep.
  4. Stress and Anxiety: High levels of stress and anxiety can shorten REM sleep duration.

Tips for Improving REM Sleep

To ensure you get enough REM sleep, consider the following tips:

  1. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading or taking a warm bath.
  3. Limit Screen Time Before Bed: Reduce exposure to screens at least an hour before bedtime to avoid disrupting your sleep cycle.
  4. Avoid Stimulants: Cut down on caffeine and alcohol consumption, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  5. Manage Stress: Practice stress-relief techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga.
  6. Consider Sleep Aids: Natural supplements, like Som Sleep Powders, can help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality. These powders are designed to support all stages of sleep, including REM, by promoting relaxation and reducing stress.


Understanding the importance of REM sleep and ensuring you get enough of it is essential for your overall health. By maintaining good sleep hygiene and addressing factors that disrupt REM sleep, you can improve your sleep quality and reap the benefits of this crucial sleep stage. Remember, prioritizing sleep is one of the best investments you can make for your physical and mental well-being.

For more tips and information on optimizing your sleep, be sure to explore our other articles and resources. And if you're looking for an effective way to enhance your sleep naturally, consider trying Som Sleep Powders to help you achieve the restorative sleep your body needs. Sleep well and stay healthy!

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