REM sleep is the last stage of a human’s sleep cycle, occuring after three NREM stages (also called deep sleep/slow-wave sleep). It’s characterised by rapid eye movement (hence the name), muscular paralysis and dreaming.

Sleep StagesTypes of SleepOther NamesNormal Length
Stage 1NREMN11-5 minutes
Stage 2NREMN210-60 minutes
Stage 3NREMN3, Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS), Delta Sleep, Deep Sleep20-40 minutes
Stage 4REMREM Sleep10-60 minutes

Missing REM sleep does not make you go crazy, apparently. But if you haven’t dropped into REM for a while, your body will eventually just skip non-REM sleep and go straight to the real deal to even out the deprivation.