REM Sleep and NREM Deep Sleep

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REM Sleep and NREM Deep Sleep

Some factors that can give better REM, NREM, and deep sleep include continuous rocking stimulation, exercise, ketogenic diet, audio hypnosis, body heating, increased sleeping duration, pink noise, among others.
Some factors that can worsen the REM, NREM, and deep sleep include the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and cannabis. Additionally, lifestyle factors like artificial lighting and alarm clocks also affect REM sleep and dreaming ability.


1) Continuous Rocking Stimulation

2) Exercise and Training

  • According to a recent review published in the Advances in Preventive Medicine, it is found that exercising for twelve weeks demonstrated an increase in sleep duration, sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep continuity, and REM sleep.
  • The researchers further reported that engaging in exercises about 1-2 hours before bedtime was associated with an increased incidence of deep sleep.

3) Ketogenic Diet

  • According to a recent article in Sleep Review, ketogenic diets have the ability to improve sleep quality, enhance REM sleep, increase deep sleep, reduce insomnia, and mitigate symptoms of narcolepsy.

4) Music

5) Increased Sleeping Duration

  • According to a recent article published by the Journal of Sleep Research, the sleeping efficiency and REM sleep duration were enhanced with the increased length of sleeping time. Alternatively, the episodes of awakening and arousal per hour were decreased with increased sleep duration.

6) Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Titration

  • According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Science and Practice, the CPAP titration led to a substantial increase in REM sleep among adults with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Additionally, the sleep duration was increased by nearly 57% among study participants.

7) Body Heating

  • According to the American Sleep Association, body heating with prolonged exercise, hot tub bath, or sauna can contribute effectively to increase slow-wave deep sleep.
  • Additionally, studies have shown that slow-wave deep sleep is enhanced when the brain temperature exceeds a certain threshold. Circadian rhythm and homeostatic processes regulate the threshold.

8) Pink Noise

9) Philips SmartSleep Headband

10) Audio Hypnosis

  • A new study by the Sleep, suggests that listening to hypnotic music just before sleeping may help individuals to reach the state of deep sleep and remain for in the state for a longer duration.
  • The study reported an increase in the duration of a deep sleep by up to 80%.


1) Alcohol

  • Alcohol use can disrupt sleep and diminish the quality of sleep. Studies have found that acute alcohol withdrawal leads to a reduction in REM and NREM sleep. Additionally, a significant increase in wakefulness, insomnia-like symptoms, and impaired sleep homeostasis is noted with the use of alcohol.

2) Aging

  • According to sleep scientist Dr. Daniel Gartenberg, the duration of deep sleep decreases with age. Additionally, he states that that people aged 20 years get around 20% of deep sleep while older adults over the age of 80 years get around 7.5% of deep sleep.

3) Caffeine

  • A recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, reveals that consumption of caffeine negatively affects the relative duration of a deep sleep, sleep latency, and sleep efficiency.

4) Cannabis

  • According to a recent study published in the Current Psychiatry Reports, the effects on REM sleep was altered with the dose of CBD. The high-dose CBD increased REM sleep latency while mid-range dose CBD decreased REM sleep and REM sleep latency.
  • Additionally, the researchers found that cannabis use was associated with a decrease in sleep onset latency and wake after sleep onset (WASO)

5) Artificial Lights

  • According to Psychology Today, lifestyle factors like increased exposure to artificial light at night leads to diminished REM sleep and dreaming.

6) Artificial Awakenings


  • "Rocking boosts deep sleep, sleep maintenance, and memory in healthy sleepers"
  • "Continuous rocking stimulation actively entrains intrinsic sleep oscillations"
  • "We first show that, compared to a stationary night, continuous rocking shortened the latency to non-REM (NREM) sleep and strengthened sleep maintenance, as indexed by increased NREM stage 3 (N3) duration and fewer arousals."
  • "Finally, supporting the hypothesis that a rhythmic stimulation entrains sleep oscillations, we report a temporal clustering of spindles and SOs relative to the rocking cycle. Altogether, these findings demonstrate that a continuous rocking stimulation strengthens deep sleep via the neural entrainment of intrinsic sleep oscillations."
  • "We then confirm that, during the rocking night, overnight memory consolidation was enhanced and also correlated with the increase in fast spindles, whose co-occurrence with the SO up-state is considered to foster cortical synaptic plasticity."
  • "One study demonstrated that twelve weeks of exercise training increased sleep duration and variables of sleep quality in adolescents [18]. These investigators found exercise training to decrease NREM stage N1 (very light sleep) while increasing REM sleep, sleep continuity, and sleep efficiency when using polysomnography. "
  • "Contrary to these findings, Alley et al. found that the timing of resistance exercise did not significantly affect total or REM sleep the following evening [33]. However, the investigators did conclude that, regardless of the time of day, engaging in resistance exercise did improve sleep quality."
  • "However, Brand et al. echoed the results of Alley et al.: they found exercise an hour and a half before bedtime to be associated with increased deep sleep and decreased REM sleep [35]. More specifically, individuals with greater self-perceived exertion during exercise had decreased light sleep and increased deep sleep compared with those who reported less self-perceived exertion "
  • "Polysomnographic evidence indicates that insomniacs who listened to music before sleep spent less time in stage 2 of the sleep cycle, and more time in REM sleep, compared to the control group. “REM sleep is especially vital to psychological and emotional well-being”"
  • "The findings of this study contribute to existing knowledge of the effectiveness of music as a therapy to improve the sleep quality of insomniac adults. Listening to soothing music at nocturnal sleep time improved the rested rating scores, shortened stage 2 sleep, and prolonged REM sleep."
  • "Decreased time in stage 2, and increased REM sleep were observed in patients who listened to soothing music before sleep"
  • "The results show that sleep efficiency, N1 (min), N2 (min), REM (min), REM% and proportion of long sleep segments, increased with increasing TST, whereas the number of awakenings/hr, the number of arousals/hr, N1% and REM intensity decreased."
  • "In addition, longer sleep was more associated with TST being perceived as of “usual” duration and with better subjective sleep quality. TST was not associated with habitual reported sleep duration. It was concluded that short TST of a recorded sleep in a real‐life context may be an indicator of poor objective sleep quality for that particular sleep episode."
  • "Rapid Eye Movement (REM) rebound is a polysomnographic phenomenon where a substantial increase in REM sleep is noted in patients with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) when first undergoing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) titration. "
  • "In studies reporting REM rebound, the REM sleep duration increased by 57% during the first CPAP titration night compared to the baseline sleep study. The prevalence of REM rebound varied between 23 and 46%. A low amount of REM sleep on the diagnostic PSG predicted REM rebound."
  • "During acute alcohol withdrawal, subjects displayed a significant increase in wakefulness with a reduction in rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement sleep,” Thakkar said. “This caused insomnia-like symptoms and suggests an impaired sleep homeostasis.”"
  • "Alcohol disrupts sleep and the quality of sleep is diminished. Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic, which increases your need to go the bathroom and causes you to wake up earlier in the morning."
  • "Other lifestyle factors that adversely affect sleep quality include our increased exposure to artificial light at night, and the predominant use of artificial awakenings in the morning (aka alarm clocks). Waking up with an alarm clock cuts into REM sleep and intrudes on dream narratives."
  • "Other lifestyle factors that adversely affect sleep quality include our increased exposure to artificial light at night, and the predominant use of artificial awakenings in the morning (aka alarm clocks). Waking up with an alarm clock cuts into REM sleep and intrudes on dream narratives."
  • " Philips SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband selected by NASA-funded institute for studies to improve sleep and behavioral health"
  • "Tanslational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) has selected two research studies leveraging Philips technology to evaluate if sleep can be made more efficient to improve cognitive function and behavioral health "
  • "Deep Sleep Headband makes it possible to test how auditory stimulation protocols can be optimized to improve sleep and performance in space"
  • "The effects on REM varied by dosage such that high-dose CBD increased REM sleep latency on the day of administration and midrange dose CBD decreased REM sleep latency the day after administration"
  • "Research examining the impact of whole plant cannabis on sleep has yielded mixed findings, with some work showing that cannabis use is associated with a decrease in sleep onset latency [5] and wake after sleep onset [6], while other work has not yielded these effects but instead noted an increase in slow wave sleep [7, 8] and a decrease in REM [6, 7, 9]. These mixed results are likely due to the heterogeneous nature of whole plant cannabis."
  • "Ketogenic diets have been associated with improved sleep quality and increased REM sleep,11 increased slow wave sleep,12 as well as improvement insomnia and emotional functioning.13 While high-glycemic diets are associated with fatigue, interestingly low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets have been found to be effective in improving symptoms of narcolepsy."
  • "Factors that have shown to increase slow-wave sleep in the sleep period that follows them include intense prolonged exercise and body heating, such as immersion in a sauna or hot tub. Factors that Increase Slow-Wave Deep SleepIt’s been shown in studies that slow-wave sleep is facilitated when brain temperature exceeds a certain threshold, and it’s believed that circadian rhythm and homeostatic processes regulate this threshold."
  • "As the American Sleep Association note, the most important thing that a person can do to increase the amount of deep sleep that they get each night is to set aside more time for sleep. Doing so allows the body to go through more sleep cycles, which makes it possible to have more deep sleep."
  • "A study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience looked into the effects of using sound stimulation, such as pink noise, on deep sleep. The findings indicated that listening to these sounds might enhance a person's deep sleep state, leading to better memory function when they wake up."
  • "Caffeine generally increases alertness and reduces sleepiness; however, it can also have negative effects on sleep quality. In a recent review, the majority of experimental studies indicated that caffeine consumption negatively affected sleep latency, sleep duration and sleep efficiency, and the relative time spent in deep sleep (Clark & Landolt, 2017)."
  • "As you get older, the amount of deep sleep you get decreases by about 50 percent. The average deep sleep percent when you’re about 20 is usually around 20 percent of your deep sleep and by the time you’re 80, it’s around 7.5 percent. It’s hard to figure out what’s causally happening. Is it that aging is making you get less deep sleep, or you just need less deep sleep as you age?"