How Much REM Sleep Do You Need?

Do you happen to have too much sleep and wake up groggy? You'll be surprised that too much REM sleep can be a bad thing!

Fortunately, there are ways on how you can remedy this, as long as you stay knowledgeable on the topic and follow the right sleeping habits. With that being said, you'll need to learn all about REM sleep and what happens when you have either too much or little of it, so you know what causes the bad sleep and what can be done to stop it.

Read on as I'll talk about REM sleep and how to keep balanced for a healthier lifestyle!


What Is REM Sleep?

You're probably wondering: Isn't REM sleep just plain sleep? While it is, there are more specific definitions of this sleeping stage.

The studies have shown that REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is a distinct sleeping stage and is sometimes referred to as paradoxical sleep.

This is the stage where the brain is highly active, with the similar brain functions of a brain that is awake.

why do i have so much rem sleep

There are times when the brain activity during REM sleep is higher as compared to when you are conscious! Your heart rate and breathing will also increase, and just like what the name states, your eyes would move back and forth while the eyelids are closed.

25% of your sleep is in the REM phase. It doesn't happen all at once but comes in periods. It starts with five minutes, and the more you experience it throughout your sleep, the longer it lasts for. It can last for a full half-hour.

What Happens When Getting Too Much REM Sleep?

Sure, getting too much sleep feels good. But that's just a temporary feeling! People often think that "catching up" on sleep and getting over ten hours of it will have them feel energized, but that's not the case. Here are the things that happen when you get  much REM sleep:

REM sleep is needed to clear your brain of unnecessary things. It's crucial for regulating your emotions and memories because of it. It also keeps your body working correctly, as it's the peak of the body's protein synthesis.

But with that being said, so much REM (caused by too much sleep overall), can lead to a heart disease risk because of your heart rate is faster than usual during extended periods of time.

why am i in rem sleep so much


And we all know that too much sleep can also cause lack of concentration and daytime drowsiness. As a result, the sleepiness doesn't only affect your productivity, but your mood as well. It can pose a risk when you are handling heavy machinery or while driving to work.

Excessive amounts of REM sleep can reduce the amount of time you spend when in a deep sleep. Some people would enter REM sleep almost right after they fall asleep!

And when this happens, the body will not begin it's paralysis state and will have the sleeper act out their dreams. Sometimes it can be sleepwalking, other times, you are talking or even shouting and hitting your partner. This disrupts your partner's sleep while endangering your life as well.

Why? Because there are chances that a sleepwalker or those who hit in their sleep to physically hurt themselves and others around them. This sleep disorder is something that needs to be checked by a doctor.

That is why doctor recommend that you get seven to nine hours of sleep every night to avoid having so much REM sleep and suffering from these consequences. That way, you can get an adequate amount of sleep without feeling groggy or in a mood.

The Causes of Spending Too Much Time in REM Sleep

Why do we get excessive REM sleep anyway?

Stress and depression are one of the main culprits as to why you get too much or too little of REM sleep. Those who are depressed or experience too much stress would often dream more than those who aren't, which have you feel worn out when waking up. Since our brains are highly active during REM sleep, too much of it would leave us groggy when we wake up! 

If you are wondering what causes REM sleep disorders that have you sleepwalk or act out your dreams, the reasons are often unknown. Sometimes, it can be due to withdrawal symptoms from substance abuse, such as antidepressants.

Other health issues would cause too much REM, though this will need to be checked by a medical professional to diagnose the reason properly.

Too much rem sleep

How to Get Balanced Sleeping Patterns?

Now that you're familiar with what happens when you get too much time in REM sleep, what are the ways on how you can get the proper sleep to rest quickly and wake up energized? Here are some tips to follow:

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    Get the right amount of sleep! This is one of the only ways to avoid getting lots of REM sleep. Create a schedule and aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night to prevent oversleeping and feeling groggy when you get up.
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    If you have a sleeping disorder or depression, then you may need to take medicine that your doctor prescribes. Avoid stressors or triggers that will affect your sleeping patterns. Keep work light and when you feel stress, find coping mechanisms for it, such as funny videos or any distractions. Taking a walk will help as well.
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    The right diet and exercise will do wonders as well. Before sleeping, avoid overeating or exercising, which will have you feel either groggy or too keyed up to sleep! Opt for healthy greens and to exercise for at least 15 to 20 minutes every day to encourage better rest.

If you continue to have extra REM sleep despite following healthy sleeping habits, then it's best to see a doctor for it to get diagnosed with sleeping disorders or be prescribed medicines to treat it.

In Conclusion

And there you have it! Through the proper knowledge of REM sleep, you'll be able to have a healthier perspective and continue to follow good sleeping habits to wake up feeling refreshed.

Plus, you'll be dodging numerous risks that have to do with too little or too much deep sleep. The remedies and habits are very simple to follow!

I hope that this article on too much REM sleep helped you become more knowledgeable about what you need to do to sleep better and wake up energized. So don't wait any longer and begin following these tips on getting a balanced REM sleep today.

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences on REM sleep, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

Some resources you may be interested in:

7 thoughts on “How Much REM Sleep Do You Need?”

  1. Loved the article on rem sleep. Very eye-opening. No pun intended. I usually dream a lot. I have multiple dreams every night. My question is about depression. I am clinically depressed and also have anxiety disorder. I take medications for both. I also take a sleeping pill prescribed by my doctor every night. My question is, which came first too much RAM sleep that caused depression and anxiety or depression anxiety disorder causing too much REM sleep?

  2. Massachusetts?- Holy Cross, 1971!
    Long story short. Been through a host of avenues for Generalized Anxiety/Depression.
    Worrier since childhood and did sleepwalk as a young child. Have been on a variety of meds in small order. One specialist in meds said I was “not a good candidate for drugs”,
    told her was on small doses of Prozac, (the miracle drug back then)…she said it probably wore off. That said, move ahead years and my reg. psychiatrist tried a few and then the Head of the TMS procedure which didn’t do much for me(in Greenwich), suggested more amphetimine salts along with Cymbalta on a scheduled basis. Gotta say, my Dr. was surprised…That was many months ago. Guess l need to send chap.2:)

  3. Sorry…meat of the problem. I feel I sleep well. Tested for apnea, and mask is impossible
    for me. Don’t snore, but my wife says I breathe very heavily at times(kills her!) But not all the time. PROBLEM: I have dreams EVERY night. Seems like a lot. Never had a nightmare! Pleasant, but hard to figure out. I wake up early,(even though I’m retired) and it takes me a while to kick in, take my vitamins, clonzapam and cymbalta. Usually get going pretty quickly. A noon dose of clon, amphet and nighttime clon, cymbalta. Can
    all this dreaming actually be disturbing my getting up, mood etc. And what would you do? Hate to go through battery of tests…just the off days…moods are a pain! I certainly
    have bothered you enough(I think I’m a young 70, but i have some history!!) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your team. Peace, JB

  4. Very informational article! If I might add, people with depression, PTSD, or anxiety, would most likely experience “bad dreams” which releases a larger stress response in their body. These bad dreams also set the “tone” for their day, which is unfortunate.


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