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October 21, 2020

These days, barely anyone is getting enough sleep. We’re all trudging through the day with an espresso in one hand and an iPad in the other, thoroughly caffeinated and always tired. This insufficient sleep syndrome – the voluntary chronic pattern of shortened sleep – is a result of our social and professional schedules. We’re committed to meeting deadlines and fulfilling our obligations as we function on a lack of REM sleep. But our generation of sleep-deprived and dream-deprived workaholics are missing out on so much by compromising on REM sleep.

This article will help you understand how your lack of REM sleep is affecting your life and what you can do to increase REM sleep.

The science is with us on this: you need REM sleep. It plays a critical role in optimizing daytime functions, like how well your presentation goes or how alert you are to contribute in a meeting. The bottom line is that your lack of sleep and dreams leads to shortfalls in performance and productivity, and so the hours spent hard at work can deliver far better outcomes if you get enough REM sleep.

Here are a few tips on how you can sleep better to increase your REM sleep.

  1. Define and follow a fixed schedule

Yes, it’s easier said than done, but the importance of following a sleep schedule cannot be understated. With the daily preoccupations of our professional lives, it often seems almost impossible to set aside eight hours for sleep. Setting aside time to rest our body and mind is also a cause of guilt because so many of us cannot justify to ourselves our need to get proper rest. Medical experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep for adults.

Most people do not seem to need more than eight hours of sleep but variations do exist between individuals. This is why you need to figure out the right number of hours for your own body and mind.

Following a sleep schedule means going to bed and getting out of bed at the same, every single day. Yes, even the weekends. To relax from the stress and bustle of the past week, you can allow yourself up to one extra hour of sleep on the weekends.

On the days when you’re lying in bed and cannot seem to fall asleep, don’t stay in bed and keep trying. Instead, get out of bed and do something else – read or do some yoga. When you’re tired, jump back into bed and get some shut eye.

  1.    Get in a good work out

Sleep researchers have found that doing physical activity on a daily basis can really make a big difference in your REM sleep. A single day of jumping rope won’t do the job – consistency is key!

It can be tough for professionals to incorporate physical activity into their busy schedule, but doing so has innumerable benefits beyond improving REM sleep. Try adding a 30-minute walk into your day, or maybe even some bodyweight movements. Then gradually progress over time, increasing the time from 30 minutes to 40 to even 60. You can also progressively overload on the weights, making sure you are putting your body under sufficient but tolerable stress.

If you’re planning on working out in the evening, make sure to do it at least 3 hours before getting into bed. Give your body time to wind down and enjoy a post-workout meal before turning in for the day.

  1. Know what you put in your body

The food and drinks you consume have a great impact on your overall health, but specifically tamper with your sleep cycle. Certain substances and prescription medication can affect your sleep, even if you think they help you sleep.

For example, alcohol and cannabis are commonly used to aid sleep because of their depressant effect on the nervous system. However, they disturb the quality and structure of your sleep throughout the night, and over time these effects culminate to disturb the overall sleep schedule.

  1. Restrict naps during daytime

We know how important power naps are to some professionals. With the non-stop grind at work, who gets any time to relax? After a sleepless night, most people like to revamp their energy levels by taking a quick nap in the day, unaware of how it might be contributing to the sleepless nights.

Long daytime naps interfere with your sleep routine. You need to feel tired in order for you to enjoy good REM sleep. So, limit those daytime naps and make sure they don’t last too long.

  1. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening

Again, we know, this is easier said than done. Most of our evenings are spent in front of a laptop or phone screen. But this exposure to blue light decreased melatonin levels, hence affecting your circadian rhythm and tricking your brain into believing it’s still daytime.

To reduce blue light exposure, you can get eye glasses than block blue light or install apps that block blue lights on your electronic devices.

We value your REM sleep and so should you. Try these tips for increasing REM sleep and unleashing daytime energy, or consider theright supplements that’ll help you get real restorative rest.

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