Why do people sleep?

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Why do people sleep?

In: Biology

We don’t know. Despite years of research, so far the only really solid reason why people need to sleep is because they get tired.

There are lots of studies on the benefits of sleep and the hazards associated with lack of sleep. They know brain wave patterns and other factors affected by sleep but no one has figured out the mechanics of how it is done and how we know when we’ve had enough.

Sleep is complex, and isn’t yet fully understood. However, there are actions our body takes while asleep that wouldn’t be possible while awake, such as clearing neuronal debris in the part of the brain we require to be in an active state in order to be conscious.

Interestingly, dolphins have worked around this by being able to shut down only half their cortex at a time, thus being able to be peripherally aware while repairing cellular damage and storing long term memories.

Some people think it was evolved as a way to save energy during the night. Nobody actually knows for sure what the reason is though.

Afaik this was only recently discovered.

During the day when we’re awake we build up toxins in our brain that will eat away at it. When we sleep these toxins are cleared from our brain.

Pretty generic answer but maybe someone with more knowledge can explain it further.

As far as we can tell it’s so our body can repair itself after a long day of activity. Do some much needed maintenance on the brain and the muscles. There might also be some reasoning in that us being asleep during the night protected us from nocturnal predators that would hunt us down while we were out and about outside our hidden and protected sleeping areas.


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