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The terms rapid eye movement (REM) and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) were first coined by William Dement in the 1950s; he went on to become a leader in the field of sleep research. REM sleep occurs in the fifth stage of sleep and is associated with dreaming. It is a deep stage of sleep wherein the muscles remain in an extremely relaxed state nearing paralysis, making it difficult to awaken. Electroencephalograph (EEG) patterns indicate an “awake brain” during REM sleep, characterized by physiological changes such as increased breathing and heart rate. NREM sleep consists of sleep Stages 1 to 4 and is characterized by decreased brain activity, including minimal dreaming.

The stages of sleep are cyclical in that individuals pass through four or five cycles ...

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