Rapid eye movement is a state of deep sleep that occurs about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. This is considered the heaviest stage of sleep. It is also the most restorative to your body. As people age, the smaller percentage of REM sleep they achieve. Practicing techniques for better sleep is the best way to reach REM sleep quicker and to stay there longer.
Set up a routine, where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Keeping a schedule helps your body regulate and allows you to fall asleep more easily at night.
Cut down on caffeine and alcohol intake. Caffeine is a stimulant and keeps you awake -- and while alcohol can help you fall asleep -- it can prevent you from achieving REM sleep.
Avoid eating or drinking at least two hours before going to bed, especially if you have issues with heartburn.
Begin a routine that helps you wind down and relax at least 10 minutes before bedtime. Read a book, take a warm shower or listen to relaxing music. This will keep you from bringing stress into your sleep.
Avoid naps during the day, since they can make sleeping at night difficult. If you are going to nap, sleep for 15 to 20 minutes about eight hours after you wake up.
Create an environment in your bedroom that is conducive for sleep. People sleep best in a place that is cool, dark and quiet.
Exercise regularly. If you exercise during the day, you will fall asleep faster when it's time for bed.