Why do we toss and turn when we sleep?
A TYPICAL NIGHT’S sleep consists of REM and non-REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and is named after the way your eyes dart around under your eyelids. REM sleep is when you dream. To prevent you acting out your dreams, nerve impulses from your motor cortex are intercepted in the spinal cord and blocked. So you’ll never thrash about during a dream, no matter how vivid it is. Instead, most of the tossing and turning actually happens in the brief moments after REM sleep when you wake up. This only lasts a few seconds and we usually don’t remember having woken, so it feels like we are tossing and turning in our sleep. You can have four or five REM/ non-REM cycles every night and the wakeful interludes give you a chance to change position or adjust the covers.
Stages of sleep over eight hours