A tip if you want good newsletters, your kids have to sleep a lot. Because we can learn while sleeping? Well no, this question may return regularly, we are certain today, that it does not work. On the other hand we know that the amount of REM sleep is directly related to the intellectual faculties
Paradoxical sleep is that part of sleep where dreams are made and which is paradoxical because if the muscles are completely relaxed, the eyes move and the brain activity is intense. Thus in the dog, paradoxical sleep occupies only 6% of the total sleep time, in the visibly smarter cat, it occupies 15% and in the man 20%. Note that birds and reptiles do not have REM sleep.
If we deprive man of this type of sleep, and therefore of his dreams, the first function that is disturbed is memory. We know that if we slept little, it is difficult to focus but also to memorize something correctly. In contrast, when an animal is taught a new behavior, its percentage of REM sleep increases.
A good amount of REM sleep is needed for the brain to collect and store information.
Paradoxical sleep is more important at the end of the night than at the beginning, this part being essentially reserved for physical recovery. Then after 6 hours of sleep, the amount of REM sleep increases, allowing intellectual recovery and preparing the brain for new acquisitions. Best example of this need: the newborn: his brain is brand new and must collect and store millions of information: his REM sleep is half of the 18 to 19 hours spent every day sleeping. At one year, he only represents a quarter and from 15 years a fifth as in the adult; majority of learning is done. Note that in the elderly, the duration of REM sleep is reduced to 16% of the total, a sign that although still able to store new information, the capacity of the brain is still alas, considerably reduced.