Why do we sleep?

Paul Schlosser SCHLOSSER at ciit.org
Wed Mar 2 10:15:01 EST 1994


Since no-one else has been able to offer an answer, I'd like to make
a conjecture.  First, let me resta e the question as:

What evolutionary advantage is there ts sleeping over not sleeping?

Well, for a species with poor night vision, night is a period when little
hunting/gathering can take place.  An individual would then have the choice
of sleeping (deep rest) during this period, which would conserve energy, or
to remain active, a more-or-less futile waste of energy (remaining awake for
a few hours gives of dark gives time for procreative activities).  Thus, the
individual who sleeps has more energy for food gathering the next day, and is
therfore at an advantage.

Presumably the fact that the brain makes use of this time to organize 
information (e.g., move things from short- to long-term memory) is something
that arose after the pattern of sleep/no sleep was instituted to take 
advantage of the time when the brain is not actively needed (no "day-dreaming"
on the hunt!)

So, is this too simple or what?

Paul
schlosser at beta.ciit.org



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