Rapid Eye Movement Sleep
Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Howland, R. H. 2010. Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
The two main phases of sleep are rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. REM sleep is often called dreaming (or D) sleep, because dreams are reported by about 70–80% of persons awakened during this period. REM sleep also is referred to as paradoxical sleep, because the brain paradoxically seems to be in an activated state that is similar to, but not identical to, the waking state. REM sleep is characterized by an activated electroencephalogram (EEG) pattern (low-voltage, fast-frequency brain waves), muscular paralysis (with the exception of diaphragmatic and ocular muscles), periodic bursts of rapid eye movements, and autonomic nervous system instability (e.g., variable blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration). Brain metabolism is normal or slightly increased during REM sleep.