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- Please note that the information in this article is intended for adults regarding sleep unless otherwise stated.
Sleep is divided into two different types: REM sleep and non-REM sleep.
REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, and REM sleep refers to the times when someone’s eyes are moving actively around during sleep. Non-REM sleep is used to describe the times when such activity is not present.
During both REM sleep and non-REM sleep, our brains behave differently than when we are awake.
About REM sleep
Because we often dream during REM sleep people tend to think that sleep is shallow, but in fact it’s about as deep as stage two or three of non-REM sleep, as described below.
Also, it was recently discovered that our brains are more active during REM sleep than they are when we’re awake.
About non-REM sleep
Non-REM sleep is divided into three stages based on the depth of sleep.
- Stage 1: Relatively shallow sleep. A dozing state.
- Stage 2: Fully asleep. It accounts for much of the total sleep duration.
- Stage 3: The deepest stage of sleep. We almost never dream while we’re in this state.
REM sleep and non-REM sleep are completely different types of sleep, so we can’t say that one is more important than the other. In order to refresh our brains and help keep our bodies healthy, it’s important to repeat plenty of sleep cycles to get both types of sleep.