The REM Rebound Effect

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep during a typical 8 hour sleep cycle.

The REM Rebound Effect is achieved when you deprive your body of REM sleep, causing REM stages to "rebound" the next time you sleep.

Every night, your body cycles through stages of light, deep, and REM sleep. During REM sleep, your muscles become paralyzed, eyes move back and forth under the eyelids, your breathing becomes irregular and more rapid, and blood pressure and heart rate rises.  

REM cycles occur roughly every 90 minutes during sleep. REM cycles during the first half of the night are shorter in duration, as your body spends more time in deep sleep to rejuvenate itself.

During the second half of the night, you spend more time in REM and less in deep sleep. This is when most of your dreams occur during the night.

Rebound in 4 Steps

Knowing that the body requires REM sleep, the REM Rebound Effect uses this to your advantage. By depriving yourself of a few REM cycles, you can greatly increase the time that you will spend in REM the next time you sleep.

Here's how to do it:

1. Sleep for 6 hours

By waking up after only 6 hours, you essentially miss out on the last 2 REM cycles. This means that the next time you fall asleep, your body will produce longer REM cycles to make up for it.

2. Stay awake

Get up as if you normally would (even though you will probably feel pretty tired). Basically, act as if it were a normal day. Do what you would normally do.

3. Fall Asleep

Depending on how you want to experience the rebound effect, I offer two alternatives:

Take a napTake a late morning or early afternoon nap (as long as you have been awake for at least an hour).


Wait for night. You've made it through the day! Now it's time for the easy part..sleep! Go to bed as you normally would.

4. Experience the rebound effect

You will notice more dreams than a normal night. Much of them very vivid. This gives you a greater opportunity to recognize your dream signs and become lucid. 


A good night's sleep is important. Avoid using this technique too frequently, as this could wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns and health.

Using 5-HTP

5-HTP is a lucid dream supplement that can be used to promote the REM Rebound Effect within one sleep cycle. This means you can enjoy this technique without having to wake up early. It all occurs in the same night!

› REM Rebound Effect


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