There's no evidence that deprivation of REM causes any kind of serious or long-lasting psychological problems.
A person deprived of sleep for several days will experience paranoia, hallucinations, and other symptoms that mimic those of psychiatric disorders. These symptoms disappear as soon as the person has been allowed to sleep again.
Poor sleepers tend to spend less time in deep sleep, particularly Stage 4, as well as less time in REM.
Poor sleepers experience wakefulness between cycles more often and for longer periods than more efficient sleepers.
If your sleep isn't as restful and refreshing as you'd like, consider extending the time you spend in deep sleep and REM.
Our sleep patterns and need to sleep changes considerably as we grow up.
Newborn babies spend 50 percent of their sleep time in the REM phase. (Prematurely born children spend up to 80 percent of their sleep time in REM phase.)
In childhood, total sleep and REM sleep decrease.
In adulthood deep sleep decreases. During early childhood, the amount of time spent in REM sleep approaches adult levels, and it remains constant for the rest of life.
Newborn infants need sixteen hours of sleep for every twenty-four-hour day.
By age six, children need only nine hours of sleep.
By age twelve, it is down to eight hours of sleep.
By adulthood, our total sleep time requirement drops to an average of seven and a half hours.
These vary to some extent by individuals.
Young adults spend some 25 percent of their sleep time in deep sleep.
Adults aged fifty to sixty spend 10 percent or less of their sleep time sleeping deeply.
For many older adults, this reduced deep sleep is bothersome as they worry that they are not getting enough sleep and have developed insomnia. In actuality, they're only responding to a typical pattern of aging.
How Does The Use of Sleeping Pills Affect Sleep
Sleeping pills help us to fall asleep fast. However, the sleep we get as a result of taking sleeping pills is not like normal sleep. Most sleeping pills induce sleep by depressing brain function as a whole. As a result, the quality of sleep produced is different from normal sleep.
Most healthy people spend about a quarter of their total sleep time in REM sleep. When you take sleeping pills, REM can drop to as little as a tenth of total sleep time in the beginning. As you continue to take the pills for a few weeks, the proportion of REM will gradually return to normal.
The proportion of deep sleep is also seriously affected by sleeping drugs. Some people who take sleeping pills spend as little as five per cent of their total sleep time in deep sleep.
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