Good sleep impacts more than mood and energy levels the following day. Getting enough high-quality, deep sleep will influence how your body loses weight and how well you can reach your fitness goals that day. The relationship between sleep and a healthy weight has long been established, but now it is thought calories are burned during a specific stage of sleep: REM sleep. REM sleep, also known as deep sleep, is the final stage of sleep in our sleep cycle. What is REM sleep? We’ll answer this question and talk about how to get more REM sleep, plus more, in this article.
What is REM Sleep?
Your sleep is separated into two main phases: non-REM sleep and REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement. REM sleep is also known as deep sleep and typically begins about ninety minutes after falling asleep. You move through three stages of non-REM sleep before arriving at REM sleep. Your sleep moves through these stages in cycles, with the REM cycles increasing in length and depth the longer you’re asleep. REM sleep is characterized by the following:
- Rapid movement of the eyes underneath closed eyelids.
- Your mixed-frequency brain waves start to behave almost like you’re awake.
- Your heart rate and breathing change. You’ll begin to breathe faster and more irregularly, while you’ll almost have the blood pressure and heart rate of a waking state.
- You’ll likely start to dream. Much of your dreaming occurs during REM sleep.
- To keep you from reacting to your dreams with movement, your limbs become temporarily paralyzed.
How To Get Better Sleep with Sleep Chews
You’re in for a treat with Seattle Gummy’s (SGC) Slumber Shot sleep gummy. This powerful yet gentle gummy has herbal sleep aids and melatonin to help you fall asleep quickly—and stay that way! Valerian root is a classic herbal sleep aid that relaxes the mind and body. If you’ve never tried valerian root, you’ll love how it quickly but gently calms you down after a long day. This favorite sleep root is paired with a Chinese herb, jujube seed, which helps lower stress levels and winds you down at night. And sleep gummies work quickly, so that you can take these right before bed.
Why REM Is So Important for Weight Loss
Sleep influences weight loss or gains in a variety of ways. It’s been established that people who sleep less are more likely to experience weight gain or obesity. And the opposite has been found as well; the more sleep you have, the more weight you lose. Part of this has to do with caloric intake and cravings. According to this study, sleeping more reduces caloric intake by 270-500 calories daily.
However, there is a deeper connection between sleep and weight loss. One animal study demonstrates a relationship between sleep and insulin sensitivity, which is connected to obesity and diabetes. It was found that one night without sleep increased insulin sensitivity by 33%, the same as six months on a high-fat diet. A similar study conducted with humans also demonstrated the connection between sleep and insulin sensitivity.
REM and Fitness Readiness
Sleep and exercise are deeply related. Exercise is known to improve sleep quality and increase REM sleep. So, your exercise routine is supporting your health in an additional way by helping you sleep better. Several studies on sleep and exercise report that while working out improves sleep quality (falling asleep faster, sleeping more deeply, and staying asleep), it doesn’t necessarily increase how long you sleep.
And sleep improves fitness and exercise performance. The body heals, recovers, and builds new muscle and connective tissues during sleep, making it an essential component of any holistic exercise regimen. Sleep is also critical for cognitive functioning. And, as any athlete knows, mental energy and focus are just as essential as strong muscles to complete a workout or competitive event.
Should I Monitor My Sleep?
Monitoring your sleep electronically is a helpful tool for many people. Sleep monitoring can give you accurate information about how well you are sleeping. This habit can also help you track your sleep and what patterns might influence your sleep quality. Knowing more about your sleep can also help you at your next doctor’s appointment. While sleep trackers aren’t as accurate as the machines scientists and researchers use, the data they generate can be helpful and supportive of your health goals. Here are some of the more popular sleep trackers.
Many Garmin watch users have a feature called Advanced Sleep Monitoring. This feature uses the optical heart rate sensor to track sleep patterns and duration.
Whoop combines an app on your smartphone with a wearable device to help track your sleep. Whoop also uses heart rate technology to measure sleep stages.
As with any tool, sleep trackers are only as useful as they are, well, helpful. If tracking your sleep is causing stress or guilt, put the wearable away and put the practice on pause. Remember, the best tool to support your sleep is a delicious, sugar-free Slumber Shot sleep gummy from SGC. Our easy-to-remember sleep gummy is full of herbal sleep aids and topped off with a small dose of melatonin. Plus, the sugar alcohols we use help fight tooth decay! Try the Slumber Shot 12-pack to ensure many nights of good sleep, or our Night & Day package with Slumber Shots and Mocca Shot energy gummies, to help you have a great morning.