REM sleep is one of 5 different stages of sleep. It occurs several times during your sleep cycle. It is categorised by a series of changes including: rapid eye movements made during this stage along with twitching of the face and limbs, dreaming, fast and irregular breathing.
During REM sleep, your body is restored to enable you to function each day. However, if we do not reach REM sleep or get enough restorative sleep, this will lead to us waking the following day with increased levels of pain, stiffness, fatigue and fibro fog.
To help us reach REM Sleep it is recommended that a sleep hygiene routine is followed every day. However, for those of us trapped on the sleep – pain cycle, it can be very hard to achieve as our adrenal glands are constantly in fight of flight mode, which keeps us alert. This in turn has an effect on our cortisol levels, when we wake, they can be lower than they should be.