Why do we sleep?

Eric Mintz mintz at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Sun Mar 6 15:00:47 EST 1994


In article <2ld8ci$1oo at polaris.unm.edu> kestrel at unm.edu (Naomi) writes:
>In article <2kvobu$p9f at darkstar.ucsc.edu>,
>Eric Mintz <mintz at orchid.UCSC.EDU> wrote:
>>
>>Sleep is a period of inactivity, characterized by reduced metabolic rate and
>>an increased threshold for arousal.  It is also defined by its electro-
>>physiological characteristics - reduced level of muscle tension, increased
>>slow wave activity in the EEG (for non-REM sleep).
>>
>Can yoiu go into further detail about "increased threshold for arousal"? 
>Do you refer to arousal from the sleeping state, sexual arousal, or...?
>Thanks.
>
I mean reponse to external stimuli.  For example, when sitting in a room,
when we hear the door open our reaction may be to look towards the door.
This is less likely to happen when you are asleep.  Environmental stimuli
are less likely to cause a behavioral response while you are asleep.

Eric




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