Sleep Science: The Chemistry and Neurology of Reaching REM
The body and brain work together in adynamic dance between entering a sleep state and being awake. Different regions of the brain work together to make this happen every day.
It's not uncommon to find yourself dragging your feet after lunchtime, needing a midday snooze. Other times you’ll find you're wide awake when you should be in a deep sleep. This blog talks about the science behind rest, which sleep aids could help, and the best vitamin patch for sleep.
What is REM?
REM sleep is the stage of sleep where dreaming takes place. This phase is where the body is in the form of movement paralysis. Some people still experience this if woken up suddenly from a dream.
Once the body reaches the REM sleep state, the body experiences the following:
- Swift eye movement.
- Rapid and irregular breathing.
- Heart rate increases (similar to when awake).
- Body temperature varies.
- Blood pressure rises.
- Brain activity is identical when awake.
- The brain consumes more oxygen.
- Sexual arousal in both men and women.
- Sudden twitching of face and limbs.
- Small studies have shown that it reduces migraines
- It promotes heart health
- It has potential in the fight against neurodegenerative disease
The brain signals to the spinal cord to stop the arms and legs from moving, also known as atonia, the brain's safety measure, so we don't act out our dreams. The REM sleep state's when many people tend to have very vivid dreams as the brain activity is similar when awake.
Non-REM Sleep Stages
The first stage of sleep is known as Non-REM (NREM) sleep. This phase has four stages the body must pass through before entering REM sleep. The body and brain must pass through four stages of non-REM sleep before reaching the REM sleep state.
Eachstage described below lasts between five to fifteen minutes:
- Stage 1 non-REM sleep – is when a person goes back and forth between a light state of rest and being awake.
- Stage 2 non-REM sleep – when a person enters a slightly deeper sleep, the body temperature drops and heart rate decreases.
- Stages 3 and 4 non-REM sleep – stages 3 and 4 are when the body is in restorative sleep, also called"slow-wave sleep" or"delta sleep."
- As the muscles relax, the body supplies more blood to the muscles and repairs damaged tissue. Hormones are released, which helps restock energy levels.
As someone gets older, they tend to get less non-REM sleep, at around 30 minutes or less. While those under 30 years old experience around 2 hours of restorative sleep.
There are many elements all working together that help a person go to sleep. The neurochemistry of sleep includes chemicals such as adenosine, nitric oxide, melatonin, and GABA. Below we look atfour of the main chemicals needed to fall asleep.
GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a switch to shut off the state of "wakefulness." This vital neurotransmitter acts like an internal clock, letting the brain know when it's the end of the day and time to fall asleep.
The chemical compound adenosine signals the brain to the body how much time you've spent awake in the day. Adenosine guides the body to sleep by blocking regions of the brain used to keep you awake.
Nitric oxide is a gas-like molecule in the brain that helps promote adenosine and helps to push you to a state of sleep.
Melatonin is made in the pineal gland of the brain. This chemical is released during the night to regulate your internal clock for a sleep-wake cycle.
Sleep hygiene means creating an environment in your bedroom with healthy daily habits to help you have deep, relaxing sleep. Below are some techniques that anyone can use to create ideal sleep hygiene:
- Make a sleep schedule and stick to it
- Make your bedroom cozy and relaxing
- Create a pre-bed routine and stick to it
- Develop healthy habits during the daytime
By developing a sleep hygiene process that works for you, it'll be no time at all before you're sleeping through the night and waking up rested. Healthy sleep helps with mental and physical health, giving you the energy to tackle the day.
The Chemistry of Waking Up
There are many elements all working together that help a person wake up. The neurochemistry of sleep includes chemicals such as adenosine, acetylcholine, norepinephrine and more. Below we look at some of themain chemicals needed to get you up and out of bed.
Orexin / Hypocretin
Orexin/Hypocretin help switch off the chemicals that put you to sleep, effectively waking you up.
The neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which also helps with REM sleep, has an active part in waking you up. Acetylcholine cells create "fast brain waves," which help wake you up from being in a REM sleep state.
Norepinephrine increases the brain's level of wakefulness, pushing you into action ready for the day.
Serotonin cells are light-sensitive which help promote a sense of wakefulness, getting you out of bed and ready to start your day. The serotonin chemical regulates body temperature, which promotes wakefulness when the body feels cold in the morning.
The chemical compound histamine controls wakefulness and brain activity during the day. Histamine contains several chemicals which work together to keep the brain awake throughout the day.
Dopamine creates a sense of wakefulness by forcing the brain to "take action" and get up. This chemical works the same way in waking you up as if you're working towards a goal or seeking a reward while awake.
Vitamin Patch for Sleep
Many of us might find that we need a sleep aid to reach a deep state of rest. It can be pretty common to feel like you're sleepy during the day, but you can't shut your mind off at night.
Patch V3 is a vitamin patch for sleep, and this sleep aid will give your body the vitamins and minerals needed for a great sleep. Without having to be ingested, the supplements enter the body through the skin. Check out Patch V3's cutting-edge technology today for a great sleep tonight.