How Can I Increase My REM Sleep?

Last Updated: NOV 13, 2022

REM - Rapid Eye Movement

Firstly it's important to understand what REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is and why we move into this state from a non-REM state.

Did you know? Dreams typically happen during the REM state.

During this type of sleep our eyes move around rapidly in lots of different directions but no signals are sent through to your brain as you do this which is why you are generally not aware.

We then move into REM sleep which is said to be around 90 minutes after you fall asleep. Then you flow through a number of REM sleep periods which can start from 10 minutes and gradually get longer. Our brains are actually quite active during this stage which is why we can have intense dreams.

"Babies can spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage"

Healthline, June 2021

So how can I get more REM sleep?

There are a few things you can do right now to maximise the amount of REM sleep you have in you in the night. Getting good quality sleep is necessary for good health and helps you to function more effectively during the daytime.

Start to think about your sleep routine. Getting your body prepared to have a good nights sleep is key to training your body and mind to get ready for some sleep. Read how to start your own sleep routine


Be careful what you are drinking. This one might not sounds as fun but trust us when we say what you are drinking really can impact your quality of sleep. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes and alcoholic drinks as they stimulate the mind and interfere with your sleep.


Consider your sleep environment. Reduce the amount of bright lights, try to create a medium temperature, try a weighted blanket which is breathable and consider your pillow situation (typically you want to replace your pillows every 16 months)


Don't forget if you can't sleep for a period of time and become frustrated there's no point staying in bed and becoming more anxious. Get up quietly and keep the lights down low and try doing something quiet like reading a book or listening to some sleep music.

Track your success

REM sleep can be tracked in many phone app's easily these days and they will show you just how often you go into an REM pattern.

You can use this to see how your REM sleep improves by making small changes and you will be able to narrow down which ones work best for you.