How to Achieve REM Sleep

Make the Sandman your best friend when you use these tips to achieve REM, or rapid eye movement sleep -- and experience its restorative benefits.


Up next in Sleep Tips (19 videos)

You are getting very sleepy -- or will soon if the follow the advice in these Howcast videos about overcoming sleeping issues. You will learn how to deal with insomnia; how to fall asleep fast; how to get back to sleep if you wake up; how to achieve REM sleep; how to stop hitting the snooze button every morning; how to sleep longer; how to eat for a good night's sleep; and much more.

You Will Need

  • Treatment of sleep disorders
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • 7 hours or more of sleep nightly


  1. Step 1

    Consult physician

    Consult a physician or sleep specialist to determine whether you have a disorder, such as sleep apnea, that interferes with your ability to achieve REM sleep.

  2. Recognize REM sleep by more rapid breathing and limb immobilization.

  3. Step 2

    Strive for quality sleep

    Strive for an overall quality sleep experience by developing a healthy lifestyle including a regular bedtime schedule, exercise, and relaxation.

  4. Know the first REM period occurs between 70 and 90 minutes after falling asleep.

  5. Step 3

    Reduce interruptions

    Reduce external factors which may interrupt sleep to allow the regular dream-rich REM sleep periods to occur and expand throughout the night.

  6. Maintain a comfortable bedroom temperature to avoid sleep disruption.

  7. Step 4

    Avoid antidepressants

    Avoid taking antidepressants which may suppress REM sleep, and be aware that decongestants, diet pills, and caffeinated beverages may also thwart your ability to achieve REM sleep.

  8. Step 5

    Avoid cigarettes

    Don't smoke which often leads to light sleep and reduced amounts of REM sleep.

  9. Step 6

    Avoid alcohol

    Avoid alcohol consumption which keeps people in a light sleep stage and reduces one's ability to reach REM sleep stages.

  10. Step 7

    Sleep longer

    Extend your time in bed if necessary to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, providing ample time for REM cycles to occur. Now, enjoy waking up in the morning rested and ready to conquer the world.

  11. If it takes you less than 5 minutes to fall asleep, you are sleep-deprived.