Talk:Rapid eye movement sleep

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In the introduction you mention that there are two categories of REM sleep: tonic and phasic. I think this article could be improved by adding information about both of those phases since after in introduction they are not mentioned again. Paula.Jacks (talk) 03:21, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

REM atonia vs Sleep Paralysis[edit]

They are not the same, at least in the most current scientific author signed and peer-reviewed literature. Regretfully a web site published anonymously uses different nomenclature. Jclerman 19:02, 19 October 2005 (UT


Don't people also dream in other parts of sleep? I'm sure I've heard this somewhere. Meelar 07:06, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC) Sort of. Most of what you'd call "dreams" when you wake up occur during REM sleep though. Endless

I read they sometimes occur in Stage 4, but aren't as vivid. They say it might be that its just easier to remember your dreams after waking up from REM sleep. jess523s

There's current discussion on this particular issue. I guess at the moment we can say that REM determines a higher dream-recall rate than Non-REM. Allan Hobson and Mark Solms have held the most significative poles of this debate.

Mark Solms claims that there is no difference in dream quality between REM and NREM sleep. Most studies however have shown that when you wake a person up from REM sleep you get a dream report 80-90 percent of time where this is only 10 % for when you wake a person up from NREM sleep. However, as mentioned before it could be the case that it is harder to remember a dream in REM sleep. Some have also argued that you only dream in REM sleep and dream reports from NREM awakenings are just memories of dreams that happened in NREM sleep. This is dubious however since Solms showed that people who have neural damage to the degree that they don't have REM sleep anymore still dream. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:31, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

How rapid?[edit]

Does anybody know how rapid the eye movement referred to is?

Yes. Every three seconds: And please feel free to update the image in the article with a more modern recording while you are there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

This varies. Some researches believe it is linked to the level of mental activity, so the more mental activity there is, the faster the REM will be. Darksun 11:53, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Some order of magnitude figures would still be a lot more useful than the current lack of any numerical data on REM in the article. The eye movements in the graph attached to the article appear to be at a frequency of about 1 Hz, but there is no scale provided in the image to indicate amplitude of movement, say as a percentage of possible eye rotation angle. Can anyone contribute any figures like this? I've trawled a few of the archives of research papers I've got access to, but not found anything useful yet.-- 11:29, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

In my experience, its usually no more than 4 notable eye movements per epoch (30 seconds), and there can be full epochs of REM EEG activity but with no eye movements. (talk) 14:10, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I removed this sentence:

Studies have shown that being deprived of REM sleep (but not necessarily non-REM sleep) leads to serious mental and physical health problems.

I believe this to be incorrect. Interrupting REM sleep is in fact good for depressed people, and in animals it has been done for some two months without deleterious effects; on the other hand, mice die within 10-20 days if they cannot sleep at all. People have been deprived of REM sleep for a couple of days, and nothing bad happened. AxelBoldt 23:50, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yes, nothing bad happens to someone deprived of REM sleep for a couple days. Consistent REM sleep deprivation causes a deterioration of cognitive function and, well, a lot of other bad things, too many to list. (talk) 14:24, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Cleaned Up[edit]

I did my very very best to organize and clean a little.


I added a poly of a patient in REM sleep. In addition, I added I did a little cleaning. I am concerned about the comment about dreaming though... the one stating that "(whether dreams occur more often during this phase is not known)".... there is every indication that this is the case... The brain activities occurring in stages 2 and 4 sleep are not conducive to the organized thought that takes place in REM. While mentation does occur in NREM, the imagery that takes place in REM is what most people refer to as dreaming. MrSandman 01:06, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

The picture used is not a good example of clear-cut REM as there is a K-complex during the eye movement. In addition to this there is also no scale visible on the EEG.

That is not a K complex.. it is eye movement artifact...which is extremely common. Additionally, the text provided describes the record as being 30 seconds, which is the standard.. and amplitude criterion are not relevant to scoring REM, hence it's absence.

MrSandman 22:45, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Again, I do agree with the idea that we don't know exactly the nature of the relationship between dream activity and REM. It is possible that REM periods correlate with memory functioning, and not exactly with dream activity. Dream "mentation" or "imagery" is, in my opinion, an artificial distinction from dream activity. --Amoreno22 21:14, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


It says REM is 'a saccadic movement of the eye.' Saccade is when your eyes are veiwing a large scene, so does that mean the REM is because your eyes are veiwing a whole picture and your brain is piecing it together. Jess523s 12:54, 24 December 2005 (PST)


The area of your brain that controls eye movements is creating the movements.. it has little to do with what is being "seen" in the dream. It is a bottom up process... not top down.

REM rebound[edit]

I notice there is a brief mention of the role of REM suppression with antidepressants, but I think a section, or better yet, a new page should be created to explain the REM rebound effect that occurs following suppressed REM activity. -Alex


No merger warranted. Delete the other article. It has no citations to verify the statements which, BTW contradict computational observations. Ask me details if you need them. Jclerman 23:24, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

REM sleep period[edit]

This has not been defined. Please define and insert a citation, or redraft for clarity. Jclerman 07:03, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Sleep disorders can occur in REM sleep[edit]

Does this mean that the disorders occurs only during REM sleep? Please clarify by recasting the sentence if needed. Jclerman 07:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

REM sleep can occur within about 90 minutes[edit]

90 minutes counted from what? Jclerman 07:23, 22 August 2006 (UTC) From sleep onset. MrSandman 17:29, 22 August 2006 (UTC) <edit>... I see what you mean.. that section needs a lot of work.

no disamb header[edit]

Nothing redirects here, so nothing's needed on top of the page... *falls asleep* Matt Yeager (Talk?) 01:24, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Manual Rapid Eye Movement[edit]

I am able to rapidly move my eyes in a REM fashion, either with my eyes closed or open, at will. I do not mean that I simply move my eyes back and forth rapidly, but rather that my eyes do it "on their own." I know of at least one other person who can manually induce REM as well, so I imagine the ability to manually control rapid eye movement is somewhat common.

The article is not titled "Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Phase", but rather just "Rapid Eye Movement." Should mention be briefly made that some people are able to manually induce the rapid eye movement which occurs in REM sleep? Serialized 12:19, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I have a question: Why exactly does REM the activity accompany the REM state of sleep? What's the point of moving our eyes so quickly? Is it a part of looking around in the dream or just something weird we do? Why are the eyes the one part of the body not paralyzed in sleep?

Moving your eyes does not induce REM. Read the article for more information, specifically.... pay attention to the brain-stem mechanisms that modulate REM sleep.

Added see also to Dream article[edit]

I recently added a bunch of information about the brain while dreaming to the Dream article, I noticed it overlapped quite a bit with what happens during REM since dreaming usually occurs during REM, some of the info is really more about REM Sleep than dreaming, do you think we should add it here instead of the Dream article? LilDice

What if you don't have eyes[edit]

what if you're blind or you're missing your eyes or something. can you still experience this stage? the mental effects at least? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:52, 14 March 2007 (UTC).

How would you make this difference: Mental effects vs... Organic effects? The REM does not have a perceptive function. --Amoreno22 21:17, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

The eye movements are a product of what the brain is doing.. eyes or no eyes.. the brain experiences REM sleep... just like a baby does before they are born. The article explains some of this.

MrSandman 23:18, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Rapid eye movements related to eye movement in dreams?[edit]

Lucid_Dream#Other_associated_phenomena makes the assertion that "Scientific research has found that these eye movements correspond to the direction in which the dreamer is "looking" in his/her dreamscape; this apparently enabled trained lucid dreamers to communicate the content of their dreams as they were happening to researchers by using eye movement signals. This research produced various results, such as that events in dreams take place in real time rather than going by in a flash." While it is certainly true that lucid dreamers can give preconcerted eye signals while dreaming, I did not yet find proof for the assertion that REM is generally linked to the eye movements of the dreamer or even the lucid dreamer (I think you would need dream reports corresponding to eye activity for that, which would be somewhat hard to create). It would also be in contradiction to the fact that "events in dreams take place in real time rather than going by in a flash", because we don't move our eyes rapidly in real time.

However, I think the false idea should be mentioned in the article, because the topic seems contentious and at least two people asked about this correspondence on this talk page.--Ruben 22:03, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Why the title "REM sleep in other animals"?[edit]

I don't understand why the sub-title is not "REM sleep in animals" - "other animals" implies that human beings are a sub-species of animals. I am not changing the sub-title as I do not want to get into fights, but I really think it's rather strange. Thanks - Todd (talk) 12:11, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

No "-sub", just one of the many species. Jclerman (talk) 22:31, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Humans are animals the same way we aren't vegetables or minerals. Like other animals, we have guts, feet, hearts, skin, blood, and apparently, dreams. Completely correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


What is the correct way to refer to REM in talking? Is it R-E-M, or rem? Could somebody who knows include this in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:06, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Correction It is not easy to wake someone in REM sleep, in fact it is a "deep" form of sleep (Weiten, 2007) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

REM sleep[edit]

are people more difficult to wake up during REM sleep? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

REM sleep is a pretty deep form of sleep. I would say people are probably a bit harder to wake up in this stage since they are less sensitive to for example sounds in the enviroment compared to Stage 1 or Stage 2 sleep. Also, people who are awoken in either REM or Slow Wave Sleep will also have more intertia and arousal at awakening. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


Shouldn't this article mention how marijuana reduces the about of REM sleep, thus reducing dreams/nightmares? —Christopher Mann McKaytalk 19:53, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Countless drugs (as in, almost all of them) suppress SWS and REM, cannabis is not special. (talk) 14:18, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

And by saying it reduces nightmares it should also say that it reduces some of the other beneficial effects of REM sleep such as making creative connections, improved procedural memory, improved memory for emotional items and emotional regulation (even though this has significant results in both directions) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Tonic or Phasic?[edit]

At the beginning of the first paragraph there is a brief mention of REM being divided into two phases, Tonic and Phasic.

This is not elaborated on anywhere else in the article, and the citation is too a book rather than a website.

Maybe there should be either more information added to that, or else it be removed. I don't really know, it's just kinda hanging there and might be getting lonely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thatmalekgirl (talkcontribs) 17:25, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

They aren't necessarily distinguishably separate phases, but separate aspects of REM stage sleep with variables pertaining to neurological, cardiovascular, and respiratory rates/statuses. As a polysomnographic technician, this was not something I was initially trained to distinguish, but the fact that REM is "tonic and phasic" was brought up quite a lot. I suppose it's something the doctors know more about, and is probably a necessary statistic for diagnosing more complex sleep disorders... something like that. In any case, it is relevant to define REM as being tonic and phasic, but explaining it would probably require a couple paragraphs of its own section within the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 14 November 2009 (UTC) I think the tonic/phasic needs some elaboration in the article. I'm quite curious! - ppk80

R.E.M. in "See also"[edit]

Why is R.E.M. a "See also" link? It seems that that the band has nothing to do with this topic. (talk) 01:38, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


Control control control! I could find this inaccuracy because I had already read another article about the same subject... It has always been difficult for me to trust wikipedia, this is a corroboration of what I have been thinking for long time: "look for information in wikipedia only if you already know the subject of your search!"Mareczek80 (talk) 15:56, 31 August 2009 (UTC)mareczek80

There is a perfectly good citation that supports the claim. The J.M. Siegel fellow mentioned in your link has a paper on the topic (from 1998) that contradicts the oft-repeated old wisdom. The information in the article is simply outdated.
You're free to correct the article to include the newer information. However, shouting "control" and expressing your distrust for Wikipedia won't accomplish much. Your time would be much better spent as an active participant in the production of quality articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Drichardson (talkcontribs) 08:23, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Contradiction (predominant sleep stage in infants)[edit]

The introduction of this page and Delta wave page claim different things:

  • A newborn baby spends more than 80% of total sleep time in REM.
  • Infants have been shown to spend a great deal of time in slow-wave sleep, and thus have more delta wave activity. In fact, delta-waves are the predominant wave forms of infants. Analysis of the waking EEG of a newborn infant indicates that delta wave activity is predominant in that age, and still appears in a waking EEG of five-year-olds.

This definitely needs looking at. --Melarish (talk) 13:21, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

REM sleep and pain[edit]

I think this article could benefit from some mention of the link between reduced REM sleep and pain. e.g. studies have shown possible links between chronic musculoskeletal pain (incl fybromyalgia) and reduced REM sleep. Experiments have been conducted wherein individuals were deprived of REM sleep; a proportion of these individuals developed fybromyalgia-like symptoms. REM sleep is often noted to be poor in people recovering from surgery, but normalisaton of sleep occurs as recovery proceeds. Splodger101 (talk) 00:14, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

You have a WP:reliable source for your information? Lova Falk talk 09:21, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Date of discovery in the lede?[edit]

Shouldn't there be a couple of sentences in the lede giving when it was discovered and by whom? __209.179.86.123 (talk) 16:28, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

I just noticed that several crucial paragraphs of this article were deleted by an IP with no explanation in 2015 and never restored! These include the type of sentences requested above, and some other crucial explanation. As a result some body paragraphs got dubiously promoted to lead paragraphs. Actually kind of funny in a way. But I will rectify ASAP. groupuscule (talk) 22:53, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
And another IP, albeit one with a longer if not illustrious edit history, was able to commit this small but unfortunate revision, which has stood for eight months. groupuscule (talk) 23:31, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

GABA in REM[edit]

There is a problem concerning neural transmitters. It another article discussing deep sleep it says the VLPO is active and produces GABA and the implication is that GABA is also produced during REM. This article says no GABA. RDXelectric (talk) 17:55, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

Hello RDXelectric; usually "deep sleep" refers to (non-REM) slow-wave sleep as opposed to REM sleep. However, there may be more to the story. Can you link to the page in question? Thanks, groupuscule (talk) 18:33, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Look at the article on "VLPO" under the section Functions, subsection Sleep/wakefulness. While under the article on Sleep it is stated that there are essentially 3 states, awake, REM and non-REM, the VLPO article implies that the VLPO and the arousal system toggle back and forth between awake and asleep and seem to make no distinction between REM and non-REM.RDXelectric (talk) 17:22, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Someone did distinguish NREM sleep in the lead at Ventrolateral preoptic nucleus but you're right that the distinction is not made in the article body. I see also they use an illustration which doesn't differentiate between the two types of sleep. Probably someone could improve that section with reference to REM and NREM. Could that someone be you, RDX? :-)
By the way, some sources I'm looking at now do talk about GABA involved in regulating REM but it seems to be rather a complicated relationship, unlike the straightforward up-and-down of acetylcholine vs. monoamines. They tend to confirm that the VLPO is more active during non-REM sleep. groupuscule (talk) 17:58, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, lol, my expertise is in electronics, physics and computer science and definitely not biology. I even find these articles hard to read, filled as they are with medical jargon, I come away sometimes wondering what they're saying. I was interested in the various feedback systems of neurotransmitters , hormones and such but the more I read the more confused I get. There seem to be contradictions between articles discussing the two sides and lots of information is missing. For example, it would be nice to know how long the effects last, seconds, minutes, more, less? It would be interesting to know what the concentration profiles are like, fast or slow onset and re-uptake. And there are obvious partials like GABA vs. Orexin. Orexin suppresses GABA in the VLPO but what suppresses Orexin is super vague. Anyway, these are comments and observations of a casual reader and may not be typical. Thanks. RDXelectric (talk) 19:08, 16 July 2017 (UTC)