Why do we sleep?

Eric Mintz mintz at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Fri Mar 4 14:09:11 EST 1994


In article <2l65ie$2r2 at polaris.unm.edu> kestrel at unm.edu (Naomi) writes:
   (I wrote)
>>OK, you are talking about two completely different things here.  An
increase
>>in the heat radiating from your body is not the same as an increase in 
>>body temperature.  It is well documented that body temperature falls
>>upon entrance into non-REM sleep.  One way for the body to reduce its
>>temperature is by increasing radiative heat loss.
>>
>>So are you talking about an increase in body temperature or an increase in 
>>radiative heat loss?
>>
>As there is no practical means of gauging body temp while asleep without
>awakening me, I cant reply on that level.  Radiative heat, however,
>increases substantially upon entrance into the sleep cycle.  
>

I took the following quotation from "Slow Wave Sleep - A Synopsis" by
Ralph Berger, p.5 in "Slow Wave Sleep - Its Measurement and Functional
Significance" edited by MH Chase and T Roth.

"Sleep onset is associated with peripheral heat dissipation through
vasodilation and increased sweating (in the case of humans), which together
with the reduction in metabolic rate typically results in a 1-2 degree C
fall in Tb (Glotzbach and Heller, 1976; Parmeggiani, 1980)."

So it is not unusual for a person to radiate heat immediately after falling
asleep.

Eric
mintz at biology.ucsc.edu




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