sleep_masthead

 
  THE NREM & REM RATIO OF SLEEP

  0 - 2 years  
newborn in hat

Newborns spend over fifty percent in REM sleep and slowly decrease down to twenty-five percent over the next two years. It is believed that REM sleep is important for the maturation of the cerebral cortex and the oculomotor system, and that it is also critical for the development of neuronal circuits.

Infants sleep about thirteen hours throughout a twenty-four hour day and typically fall directly into REM sleep from being awake. Their NREM-REM cycles in which the brain transitions through all five stages of sleep, are about 50 to 60 min.
   
   2 -20  years  
high school kids

Children, adolescents, and young adults decrease their sleep from fourteen to about eight hours during the night and typically enter stage 1 - NREM sleep first and then transition through all of the five stages of sleep in about 90 - 100 min. They spend about twenty percent of their overall sleep in the REM stage. The NREM:REM ratio is stabilized at 1:4.

   
    adults  
man sleeping on couch

Adults sleep around eight hours per night and just as children and adolescents enter stage 1 - NREM sleep first and then transition through all of the five stages of sleep in about 90 to 100 min. They also spend about twenty percent of their overall sleep in the REM stage. The NREM:REM ratio continues to be 1:4.

   
    older adults  
older couple sleeping

Older adults sleep less than eight hours but just as younger adults they enter stage 1 NREM sleep first and have a 90 - 100 min. NREM - REM cycle. They spend about twenty percent of their overall sleep in the REM stage and the NREM:REM ratio stays at 1:4.




WAKE:NREM:REM ratio change over lifespan There is a sharp drop in the amount of REM sleep after
the early years of life, falling from eight hours at birth to less than one hour in old age. The change in the amount of NREM
sleep is much less marked, falling from eight 8 hours to about
five hours over our lifespan.

 
 
sheep   How does the amount and the pattern of our sleep change over our lifespan?
                  sheep   How does the architecture of our sleep change over our lifespan?
                                  sheep   Homepage


sleep eeg waves

 
© 2009 Katharina Klakus (Psychology of Sleep, Fall 2009)
References: The Developmental Course of Sleep. (2007). Sleep Syllabus. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://www.sleephomepages.org/sleepsyllabus/fr-c.html