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episode #110

REM Sleep: What It Is and Why You Need It!

December 25, 2021 in Podcast


REM, which stands for “rapid eye movement” is one of the 4 stages of sleep that your body’s sleep cycles consist of. It is known as the “mentally restorative” stage of sleep when the brain converts short-term memories into long-term ones. Your brain is very active during REM sleep and it is when the most vivid dreams occur.

0 (1s): Hello, and welcome to the get lean and eat clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author. And this podcast is for middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the get lean eat clean podcast. My name is Brian grin, and I hope you had a great weekend and I hope you listened to my last interview with Dr. Craig marker. 0 (42s): Love that one. And there was tons of great tips on hurt training, which is high intensity repeat training and how you can use that for fat loss and just overall metabolic health. I've been using it on my rogue echo bike and do in 15 seconds on about a minute 30 off, give or take, and you know, you do four or five sessions of that sets of that and call it a day. So I love something that's quick, efficient, and gets the job done. So definitely dive into that interview if you haven't already, but today we're going to discuss something that we've I've talked about before. I've had guests on it comes up quite a bit, and I feel like it can't, it can't keep coming up enough, essentially sleep, getting better sleep. 0 (1m 26s): And today I'm going to talk about rapid eye movement sleep. This is REM sleep. This is one of the four stages of sleep. There's also a light deep and wake sleep. And these are, you know, these are sleep cycles that you consist of throughout the night. Now, REM sleep is known as like the mentally restorative stage of sleep when the brain converts short-term memories into long-term ones. So your brain is actually very active during this REM sleep cycle. And it's when most of your vivid dreams occur. So REM sleep is essential for keeping your brain and body healthy and a sufficient amount is required in order to perform at your best. 0 (2m 6s): And so it plays an important role in mood regulation as well. So there's some research that suggests that people that are deprived of REM sleep are less capable of remembering things that they've learned prior to falling asleep. So we can all relate with that, where we forget things, and we just did them the day before or even hours before. So REM sleep is a, is a time when learning new things from the day before are committed to long-term memory. This is obviously really important. I can probably talk another hour on what REM sleep is and how important it is. It also can be significant to athletes because if you're learning a technical skill, like for me golf, and you've worked on these skills, you know, day in, day out and REM sleep, that's when you retain those skills. 0 (2m 54s): So you so failing to get proper amount of night REM sleep can prevent you seeing the benefits of that practice that day, which obviously would frustrate any athlete on any level. So how much REM sleep should we get, excuse me, about 90 minutes. And you should aim for about 20 to 25% of your time asleep in, in the REM cycle. So if you do have concerns that you're not getting enough REM sleep, there could be some outside causes. This could be stress. This could be late-night eating screen device. If you've done, if you're doing all those three things every night, maybe you should change up your night routine, which I've talked about sleeping in a new place can obviously screw up, sleep, your REM sleep, and then alcohol consumption. 0 (3m 42s): I know you hate to hear that, but you know, alcohol consumption before going to sleep and I'll touch on that a little bit more as we go. So one thing that part that stood out in particular with regarding increasing REM sleep, excuse my voice is a concept. We call sleep consistency, and this is something I really strive for, and that is getting to bed at the same amount of time. And then getting up around the same amount of time, really focusing in on that. And if, if anything else this would be, I would say the first thing you should do, because it, it's a simple thing. And it's something that, you know, unless you have really small kids and they're keeping you up or a newborn, you know, making sure that you, you know, if you're, if you're going to bed about 10, 10 30, keep that consistent every night. 0 (4m 30s): And then as far as getting up, I mean, obviously it's be ideal to get up without the alarm clock. You know, I typically get up between around probably on average, around 6 37, you know, I do notice, and there's been some studies out there that during the winter, during the winter time, you actually require more sleep. You're used to it. It's evolutionary because it's darker longer. And so I actually do find that I sleep a little bit longer in, on these, on the winter nights, which is what's happening right now. So I probably, you know, occasionally I would probably average seven 30 during the winter and during the summer, probably six 30. 0 (5m 12s): So keep that in mind. And then obviously the second biggest thing, other than making sure that you have a consistent sleep schedule is staying away from alcohol before bed. I'm not going to go into every detail regarding that, but when your body's forced to process alcohol during sleep, it has a diff has difficulty getting past what's called light sleep and into some deeper stages. So it's okay to have a drink every once in a while, but I just wouldn't be drinking too close to bedtime. So six ways to improve REM sleep. I could probably give you 26, but I want to try to keep it simple. You want to make sure you're hydrating throughout the day, but don't drink too close to bedtime because I've run into this before where, you know, you're up peeing every three hours. 0 (5m 57s): You don't want that because that's obviously gonna hurt your sleep. If you could do some type of massage therapy that can really help even just the steam shower or just a shower, a warmer shower before bed can help. You've heard about blue light blocking glasses before bedtime. That can only help. I usually put mine on around eight o'clock and past that. So if I do have to read something on a computer or I'm watching the end of a football game, I have my blue light blocking glasses on. And I actually find that it makes a big difference. So try those out. If you haven't reading in bed, you know, the good old, old fashion way of just reading prior to sleep. I love doing this actually at least 10, 15 minutes before bed. 0 (6m 41s): And you know, if you're not in the, in, in a dark sleep environment, which you should be, it should be dark and cool. You could do a sleep mask or even like air plugs. I mean, it's pretty quiet where we're at, so we don't need that. Also another thing that can come up sometimes if you're, if you find yourself hungry before bed one, you probably didn't have the most nutrient dense foods you could during dinner. So that could be one of them, but you know, something that could help promote sleep is actually dairy. Obviously you want quality grass fed dairy. I actually just went to the, went to the market the other day. That's about 45 minutes away and got some myself some raw milk. 0 (7m 21s): So I do, I have been having that from time to time, but you know, if you want to do traditional dairy, that's fine and foods with serotonin. So this could be like a cheese or eggs. Even pineapple can promote your body to produce the proper amount of sleep hormone melatonin. So another thing is tart tart cherry juice, which I've never tried, but you know, a lot of the, a lot of the research that I looked into kept coming that kept coming up. So if that could be it, that could be sort of a quick hack. If you want, if you're wanting to improve your sleep tart cherry juice, it's high in melatonin and could be a sleep aid. 0 (8m 2s): Lastly is even like a sound machine that can help as well. Just other white noise during sleep. So I know a lot of kids use sound machines, but why can't adults? So you could try a lot of those tips on site, you know, for yourself and see how it goes. There. Also, obviously there's some sleep devices out there and some of these wearables, which I have mixed feelings on, I used, I've used a whoop whoop, but there's a ton of data on, on sleep from a whoop. If you can just go to a whoop and check out their website, you know, the thing about tracking your sleep cycles is that's what they do through their device. 0 (8m 42s): And there's also called an aura ring. You know, I like wearables to some degree, but I also think you should just trust how you feel regarding, you know, during the day and after certain, you know, certain nights sleep. So some of this, you can feel some of it. Actually, the data can really be helpful. There was actually some sleep data from 25,000 group members of the results showed a significant rise in the nightly amount of REM sleep as the percentage of sleep consistency over a four day span increased. So just focusing on sleep consistency, going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time can go a long way. And it shows this from those 25,000 whoop members. 0 (9m 24s): So I'm not telling you, you need to get a wearable. If this is something that you want to really focus in on, maybe you should try it and give it a go and see if you like it. But either way, let's focus in on sleep. We got the new year coming up and it won't be the last time I talk about it because I was trying to think of a well, how I could equate sleep too. And I, I equate it to, if you're a golfer and you know, you're good at everything, you know, you drive it well, you hit your irons well, but you know, you struggle with your putting. I feel like sleep is pudding, right? You got to putt well to score well. And so you gotta sleep well to have a healthy and balanced life. So I don't know, I like to equate everything to golf. So if you can relate with that, you can relate with it, but let's focus in on sleep. 0 (10m 8s): And I hope you have a great rest of the day. And I'll talk to you later. Thanks so much for listening. Thanks for listening to the get lean clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine. And I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode, feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member has looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again, and have a great day.

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