Pick the one you want most

Allows us to better understand your problem

Sleep through the nightFall asleep fasterSleep without pills
Unlock Quality Sleep: The Ultimate Guide for Insomniacs to Enhance REM Sleep

Better Sleep Starts Now

Take Your Sleep Quiz
December 1, 2023

How to Get More REM Sleep: A Comprehensive Guide for Insomniacs

Medically reviewed by: 

Discover how to improve your sleep quality and combat insomnia by unlocking the secrets to getting more REM sleep with our practical guidance.

Ready to take charge of your sleep health? Start with Sleep Reset's sleep quiz, designed to pinpoint your sleep concerns. After your quiz, you can choose to be assigned your own sleep coach and get our dedicated sleep program.

Understanding REM Sleep

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a unique stage of sleep distinguished by rapid and random eye movements. During this phase, our brain activity is most consistent with wakefulness, driving dreaming and consolidating our memories.

REM sleep, the fourth stage of sleep, incorporates rapid eye movements and contributes significantly to our physical health, mental resilience, and daytime performance.

Diving deeper into the intricacies of sleep, it becomes evident that sleep isn't a singular activity, but a complex progression of four distinct stages. REM sleep, the fourth stage, is vitally important. It complements our physical wellbeing, mental robustness, and daytime performance.

What is REM Sleep?

Unraveling REM Sleep uncovers an intricate and pivotal stage of the sleep cycle. This period, termed Rapid Eye Movement sleep, is characterized by vivid dreaming, rapid eye movements, and almost complete muscle inactivity.

During REM sleep, while the body is virtually paralyzed, the brain is vibrantly active, displaying similar patterns to those detected during waking hours. The frequency and duration of REM sleep stages increase as the night progresses, arranging the sleep pattern rhythm.

Emphasizing how crucial the role of REM sleep plays in our sleep, it optimizes the brain's function to learn, store memories, and regulate mood. Insufficient or disrupted REM sleep can trigger various cognitive and emotional issues, making it a key focus point for insomniacs.

Why is REM Sleep Important for Insomniacs?

Delving deeper into the relationship between REM sleep and insomnia fosters crucial understanding. Insomniacs often experience fragmented REM sleep, which drains the restorative benefits this sleep stage offers.

Paying more attention to REM sleep is imperative for insomnia sufferers due to its vital role in mental, emotional, and physical restoration. Improved REM sleep can significantly contribute to managing and even overcoming insomnia.

Identifying the Causes of Insomnia

Unmasking the root causes of insomnia warrants delving deep beneath the surface. A vast array of triggers, from everyday stress and anxiety to underlying sleep disorders, lie in wait, veiled in the obscurity of commonplace daily routines.

Scrutinizing certain aspects of life routinely overlooked sheds light on hidden insomnia triggers. Investigations may reveal unanticipated sources such as the side effects of certain medications, thus helping insomniacs understand their sleeplessness while paving the way for solutions.

Stress and Anxiety

In the battle with insomnia, stress and anxiety are formidable foes. Acting as catalysts, they often aggravate sleep disturbances and compromise the quality of REM sleep, pushing an insomniac further into the whirlpool of sleeplessness.

  1. Understanding that prolonged stress and anxiety can lead to chronic sleep problems.
  2. Recognize the link between increased stress levels and reduced REM sleep.
  3. Accepting that anxiety can trigger insomnia, disrupting the sleep cycle.

Sleep Disorders

Diverse sleep disorders often exist concurrently with insomnia, severely impacting the quality of REM sleep. Acknowledging and combating these underlying conditions is necessary for enhancing REM sleep in insomniacs.

  1. Identify possible sleep disorders causing insomnia, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome
  2. Monitor symptoms closely, particularly difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  3. Seek professional diagnosis and treatment
  4. Adhere to prescribed treatment plans to manage the conditions
  5. Explore various therapies to improve sleep quality and aid REM sleep

Medication Side Effects

Medication side effects can significantly impact REM sleep, often leading people with insomnia to different sleep patterns and conditions.

  • Prescription drugs like antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and stimulants can disrupt REM sleep.
  • Over-the-counter medication such as cold and allergy remedies can lead to sleep disturbances.
  • Certain pain medications that contain caffeine can contribute to insomnia.
  • Sleeping pills, ironically, can cause dependence and, in the long term, interferemore with sleep patterns.

Improving Sleep Environment and Routine

To optimize the quality of REM sleep for insomniacs, it is paramount to focus on the malleable aspects such as sleep environment and routine. A tranquil environment, devoid of disruptive elements, imbued with serenity can aid in inducing sound sleep. Similarly, a regularized sleep routine ingrains a rhythm conducive of a steady REM phase, playing a key role in managing insomnia.

Creating a Relaxing Sleep Environment

A sleep-encouraging space, designed with calmness in mind, can greatly enhance REM sleep for insomniacs. Soft lighting, neutral colors, and soundproofing are elemental as they invoke a sense of serenity, setting the stage for deeper rest.

An optimized sleep environment stimulates REM sleep in insomniacs. A noteworthy makeover involves adjusting room temperature, investing in a comfortable mattress, and reducing clutter. These changes have a profound impact, ushering tranquility and ultimately, sleep.

Establishing a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Regularity is the key to unlocking REM sleep's full potential. Consistent sleep schedules not only help in setting a fixed internal body clock but also contribute to ample REM sleep, enabling insomnia sufferers to achieve a deeper, more beneficial rest.

Balance is equally important in enhancing REM sleep. By maintaining a uniform sleep schedule, insomniacs balance their sleep-wake cycle, reducing night-time wakefulness and increasing the time spent in REM sleep. This equilibrium leads to improved sleep quality and an overall reduction in insomnia symptoms.

Implementing Sleep Hygiene Practices

Cultivating sleep hygiene is pivotal for insomniacs, serving as a cornerstone in the path to prolonged REM sleep. This regimen should blend activities that promote relaxation and calm the mind before sleep with steps to ensure a sleep-friendly environment.

Good sleep hygiene wields a significant impact on the quality of REM sleep, vital for every insomniac. By fostering such practices, insomniacs can alleviate sleep disorders, promote deep sleep, and thereby enhance the rejuvenation process.

Avoiding Electronic Devices Before Bed

Engaging with electronic devices before bed notably disrupts REM sleep. The emitted blue light hinders the production of melatonin, a hormone vital for sleep regulation. In insomniac situations, powering down these devices an hour before sleep can help enhance REM sleep experience.

Avoiding electronic devices before bedtime can significantly restore the fragmented REM sleep often experienced by insomniacs. This small habit change allows your mind to unwind naturally, encouraging a more profound and restful sleep.

Establishing a routine of ditching electronics before sleep works wonders for insomniacs. By incorporating this habit, you allow your body to wind down naturally, paving the way for restful REM sleep that is essential for mental and physical rejuvenation.

Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol Intake

Consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol can disrupt REM sleep, leading to insomnia. Cutting back can enhance both the depth and quality of REM cycles, proving advantageous for insomniacs. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, while alcohol, despite its initial sedative effect, disrupts sleep later in the night.

Insomniacs often fail to realize the profound impact of caffeine and alcohol on REM sleep. Even moderate consumption can hinder the body's ability to transition into REM stages - the phase crucial for cognitive functions. Understanding the effects of these substances offers a wake-up call for individuals struggling with insomnia.

Exploring Natural Remedies for Insomnia

In the quest for better REM sleep, insomniacs are increasingly turning to natural remedies. Herbal supplements like valerian root and lavender can aid restful sleep, while aromatherapy using essential oils can further bolster these effects.

Natural remedies offer a promising approach to improving the quality of REM sleep. Techniques like deep-breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation can work wonders in preparing the mind and body for sleep, providing a much-needed solution for insomnia sufferers.

Herbal Supplements

The power of herbal supplements in REM sleep enhancement should not be underestimated, especially for insomniacs. These natural solutions may bring a drastic transformation in sleep quality, initiating deeper and more restorative sleep cycles.

  • Magnesium and calcium supplements: Known for their relaxing properties, may potentially enhance sleep quality and duration.
  • Valerian root: A well-known herb for promoting sleep and relaxation, may help improve sleep structure, particularly REM sleep.
  • Chamomile: Commonly consumed as tea before bed, this herb may calm the nervous system and promote restful sleep.
  • Passionflower: Recognized for its sedative properties, perhaps useful in attaining REM sleep.
  • Melatonin: A hormone supplement that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, can possibly enhance the duration of REM sleep.


Harnessing the power of essential oils can enhance REM sleep for insomniacs. A range of options like lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang have calming effects, potentially inducing sleepiness and increasing REM sleep duration.

Aromatherapy, a scent-sational approach, directly impacts REM sleep. The inhalation of essential oil molecules signals the brain to regulate sleep patterns, improving sleep quality.

Understanding how aromatherapy impacts REM sleep can be beneficial. It interacts with the limbic system, affecting emotions, heart rate, and hormone balance, ultimately leading to improved sleep.

Relaxation Techniques

Undeniably, relaxation techniques play a pivotal role in unwinding the mind, consequently improving REM sleep for insomnia sufferers. From deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, to yoga and tai chi, these techniques not only help reduce stress but also aid in achieving a deeper, restful night sleep.

Practicing mindfulness presents another aspect to consider for those troubled by insomnia. Mindfulness denotes focusing on the present moment, allowing the mind to interrupt the cycle of worry and anxiety often linked to insomnia. Guided meditations, mind-body exercises, and even something as simple as directed breathwork may significantly improve REM sleep, offering a more rejuvenating slumber.

Start Sleeping Better With Sleep Reset Today!

If you're looking for a drug-free way to get better sleep, the Sleep Reset program can help. We use CBT-I principles to help you fall asleep and stay asleep all night. Our free sleep quiz can help you identify the underlying causes of your sleep problems, so you can find the best solution for you.

Our program does not rely on harmful pills, melatonin or supplements – which means no grogginess, dependency, or long-term health risks. Instead of relying on quick fixes, we use proven techniques to address the root causes of your sleep issues and give you the long-term tools to manage your sleep. Our dedicated sleep coach will help you via daily text to provide accountability, support, and guidance.

The Sleep Reset program is available on iOS and Android.

Take the Sleep quiz now.