The quiet, still and restful type of sleep that we think of is called non-REM sleep. There are two primary types: REM and non-REM. REM (rapid eye movement) is the sleep cycle when you experience dreams. Although some people may view dreams as a side effect of sleep, one of the reasons that we sleep is to dream.
Once a new day is beginning with a busy routine, the dreams may fade and be forgotten. Dreams are usually only remembered upon waking from a REM cycle. They might seem pointless or strange to you but nothing could be further from the truth; even if you do not recall your dreams, the dreaming that happened during the night still served an important purpose. Some people even keep a dream journal, recording their dreams upon awakening and finding them insightful.
Dreaming improves mental function; it stimulates the brain regions you use to learn and make memories: “The brain may sort out new information from that day and during the nighttime to help process, select and sort that information, revisiting scenes from that day in a random way.” During sleep, the brain forms pathways for “learning, creating memories and new insights.”1
There is a lot of emphasis on sleep duration (how long you sleep) and sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep). However, sleep quality is also important. Some people may receive eight or nine hours of sleep yet that quality is poor. How well you sleep is just as important as the amount of time spent sleeping.
Alcohol, stress and being disturbed or awakened while sleeping can interfere with the natural sleep cycles that need to take place at night; there may be less of a REM cycle. Not dreaming can affect your health, as both REM and non-REM sleep are important.
There are some all-natural remedies that can help improve sleep quality and increase dreaming. Melatonin, a supplement that helps you to fall asleep at nighttime, has also been shown in a study to increase the amount time spent dreaming. When compared to a placebo, there was an increase in the percentage of time spent in the REM sleep cycle. Scientists now understand that the REM cycle may benefit us more then we ever realized before, impacting brain function, metabolic processes and the immune system.2
Res-Q Sleep is a dietary supplement containing melatonin and other relaxing herbs that promote rest, relaxation and enhanced sleeping patterns. Res-Q Sleep may also help improve the quality of sleep and realign the body clock for better sleep. Res-Q Sleep is available as a fast-acting liquid spray and in caplet form, and is also available in a grape flavor. For more information about Res-Q Sleep, call customer service: 1-800-262-5483. 215-541-9890
1. National Institute of Health
2. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 89, No. 1 128-134, The Endocrine Society, Melatonin in Patients with Reduced REM Sleep Duration: Two Randomized Controlled Trials