How Much Deep, Light, and REM Sleep Should We Get Daily?

How Much Deep, Light, and REM Sleep Should We Get Daily?

Drowsiness, light sleep, moderate to deep sleep, deepest sleep, and dreaming are the five phases of sleep that alternate between non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM).

How Much Deep, Light, and REM Sleep Should We Get Daily?

If you achieve the recommended amount of sleep — seven to nine hours every night — you’ll spend around one-third of your life sleeping.

Although it may seem to be a long period of time, your mind and body are highly active during that time, allowing you to be productive, energetic, and healthy when you are awake.

Drowsiness, light sleep, moderate to deep sleep, deepest sleep, and dreaming are the five phases of sleep that alternate between non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM).

Adults should receive 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, according to experts. A new study seeks to determine not just how much overall sleep you need, but also how much of each stage of sleep you require.

Source - The Atlantic

The Stages Of Sleep 

Sleep stages 1, 2, and REM consist of light sleep, while 3 and 4 comprise deep sleep.

Stage 1

During stage 1, you alternate between being awake and sleeping. This is a brief NREM sleep that does not continue long. As you enter stage 2, you may begin to relax and dream, but you may also twitch.

Stage 2

Stage 2 of the sleep cycle is still a light sleep, but it is gradually becoming a deeper sleep. Your pulse and breathing rate slow, and your muscles relax. Your body temperature drops, and your brain waves slow down.

Stages 3 and 4

Stage 3 brings in deep sleep, while stage 4 brings you in the deepest slumber. Deep sleep causes your respiration, pulse, body temperature, and brain waves to decelerate. Your muscles are completely relaxed, and you are quite difficult to awaken.

Stage 4 is regarded as the healing stage because it is at this stage that tissue development and repair occur, vital hormones are released to accomplish their tasks, and cellular energy is recovered.

REM sleep

The first REM cycle of the night occurs around 90 minutes after you fall asleep and repeats every 90 minutes. Your eyes move fast beneath your eyelids, and your brainwaves resemble those of a person who is awake. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate all increase to near-waking levels.

REM sleep, also known as stage 5, is when you are most likely to dream.

During this stage, your arms and legs become briefly immobilised to prevent you from physically acting out your fantasies.

How Much Deep Sleep Should You Get Every Night?

Deep sleep accounts for around 13 to 23% of all sleep in healthy adults. So, if you sleep for 8 hours every night, it equates to 62 to 110 minutes.

However, as you age, you need less deep sleep.

A multitude of tasks in the mind and body occur during deep sleep, including

  • Memory consolidation.
  • The learning and emotional processes
  • Physical recuperation takes place.
  • Blood sugar levels and metabolism are in harmony.
  • The immune system has been re-energised.
  • The brain cleanses itself.

These activities cannot occur without deep sleep, or symptoms of sleep deprivation might begin.

On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as excessive deep slumber.

How Much REM Sleep Should You Get?

Although there’s no official consensus on how much REM sleep you should get, dreaming is most common during this stage. Experts believe that dreaming helps you process emotions and solidify certain memories. 

For most adults, REM takes up about 20 to 25 percent of sleep, and this seems to be healthy during average sleep cycles. However, sleep research is raising some interesting questions. One recent study suggested that higher amounts of REM sleep may be associated with depression. But don’t go making sudden changes in your sleep habits — it is not clear which is the cause and which is the effect.

How Much Of Light Sleep Do You Require?

Although sleep experts feel that light sleep is beneficial, there is no minimum amount to aim for. Light sleep is often the default state, and it is very hard to avoid if you are sleeping at all.

Oversleeping on a regular basis, on the other hand, has been related to obesity, depression, pain, heart disease, and even an increased chance of mortality.

How Much Deep And Light Sleep Do Children Need? 

Infants and children need more sleep than adults. Babies need the most sleep, spending around 16 of every 24 hours sleeping. Approximately half of their sleep is spent in the REM stage, with the other half split between stages 1–4 and NREM sleep, which alternates between light and deep.

The quantity of sleep required by children changes as they get older:

  • toddlers: 11 to 14 hours 
  • preschoolers: 10 to 13 hours 
  • school-aged children: 9 to 12 hours 
  • teens: 8 to 10 hours

With adequate sleep that looks to be peaceful, the light, deep, and REM ratio in young individuals is likely to be precisely where it should be.

Children who have difficulty going asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping soundly, or who sleep much too much for their age, might be irritable, have learning and memory issues, or be more prone to sickness.

How to Get More Deep Sleep

You may not be receiving enough deep sleep if you sleep 8 hours yet toss and turn all night.

It is difficult to compel your brain to sleep deeply, but there are a few ways that have shown potential in terms of improving your percentage of deep sleep. These are some examples:

  • reducing stress
  • establishing sleep rituals and routines
  • using an eye mask to block out light
  • sleeping in a cool room
  • exercising
  • eating a healthy diet
  • listening to white or pink noise
  • brainwave entrainment
  • meditation

Although the research is still in its initial phases, a variety of sleep trackers are available to help you measure your sleep patterns and see how much light, REM, and deep sleep you are obtaining.

Reasons To Waking Up Tired

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, you should wake up feeling refreshed and awake, yet many individuals do not.

If you sleep for 7 to 9 hours each night, but only 10% of that time is deep sleep, you’re not receiving the 90 minutes you need and may feel weary throughout the day. A sleep study may be able to help you find out what’s wrong.

There are many probable reasons that you should explore with your doctor, including:

  • general sleep disorder
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • not getting enough sleep
  • getting too much sleep
  • other health conditions that cause fatigue

The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation On The Body

According to scientists, healthy sleep is just as crucial to health as food and water. It aids in your survival and growth. Some of the negative consequences of insufficient sleep include:

  • memory troubles
  • mood changes
  • weakened immunity
  • trouble concentrating
  • poor response time and increased risk of accidents
  • high blood pressure
  • weight gain
  • risk for diabetes
  • low sex drive
  • risk of heart disease
  • poor balance
  • early ageing


Sleep is critical to health, according to scientists, and although stages 1–4 and REM sleep are all necessary, deep sleep is the most important of all to feel well-rested and remain healthy.

The average healthy adult receives 1 to 2 hours of deep sleep for every 8 hours of sleep. There are many methods to determine if you are, ranging from personal monitors to a sleep study.

If you find yourself waking up exhausted on a frequent basis, it’s time to see a doctor.


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