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REM Sleep Presentation:

The average person spends 36% of their life asleep


this means if you live to the ripe old age of 90 you will have spent
32 years asleep.
Although the precise reasons for sleep are disputed this shows that
at least on some level sleep is incredibly important.
There are 5 stages of sleep, the first 4 are known as non- rem and
the last is called REM. These stages do not necessarily occur in the
same order but rather cycles in a 1234235432 pattern. In this talk
we will be focusing on the the REM stage. REM, Rapid Eye
Movement sleep, is the period of sleeping characterised by rapid
and random movement of the eye, it takes approximately 90
minutes to enter into this stage of sleep after lying down to sleep.
whilst we are in REM sleep we experience 2 different things the first
is that our brain activity becomes massively heightened compared
to the other stages of sleep, infact polysomnograms show
brainwave patterns during REM sleep are very similar to to levels
that occur when we are awake, it is because of this that we
hallucinate and experience vivid dreams. The second is something
called sleep paralysis, as our brain activity increases our voluntary
muscles loose tone resulting in near paralysis of the body. Overall
REM sleep constitutes about 25% of total sleep time, and is the only
portion of sleep that you will remember your dreams from. REM
sleep initially will last for about 10 mins but as the night goes on can
last for up an hour, typically a person will experience 4-5 episodes of
REM sleep a night.
Neurophysiology:
1. Area of brain responsible for sleep is located in the Pontine
Tegmnetum
2. The monoamine neurotransmitters (Serotonin, noradrenaline
histamine etc.) are completely inhibited during REM sleep.
3. This leads to almost total motor neuron inhibition, and so the
characteristic muscle atonia. Sufferers of REM behavior
disorder do not have total REM atonia, and may act out
portions of their dreams as a result.
4. The heart rate and breathing rate during REM is irregular, and
body temperature is not well regulated.
5. Breathing centres also located in the pons.
Functions of REM sleep:
1. Functions of REM sleep are not well understood, there are a
number of theories;
2. Consolidation of spatial and procedural memory

3. Very important for neural development (Newborns spend 80%


of their sleeping period in REM sleep) Important for building
neural connections and pathways.
Effects of REM deprivation:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Irritability and anxiety


More attempts to enter REM sleep
Increased appetite
However, has been linked to decreases in depression.

Pathology: Sleep Paralysis


1. Phenomenon where a person, upon waking, is unable to move
or speak temporarily
2. May also have hallucinations (most common an intruder in the
room)
3. Breathing will stay shallow, giving them the feeling of
someone sitting on their chest
4. Caused by a person waking whilst the muscle atonia remains
undisrupted