Why do we sleep?

Eric Mintz mintz at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Wed Mar 9 10:26:49 EST 1994


In article <2lkg83$eri at nermal.cs.uoguelph.ca> pboily at uoguelph.ca (Patrice Boily) writes:
>Paul Runyan (par at perth.DIALix.oz.au) wrote:
>: In <2lc1mj$89j at auggie.CCIT.Arizona.EDU> robertd at argon.gas.uug.arizona.edu (Robert Dejournett) writes:
>
>: >  I think you all are missing the key issue, i think that animals sleep 
>: >for evolutionary reassons; those with good day vision can't do much at night,
>: >so they 'shutdown', oposite for those nocternile things.  You notice that 
>: >sponges and clams and other 'lower' animals don't sleep.
>
>: >-Rob 
>
>: How would'ya tell?
>
>	Actually I remember reading (don't know where) than even "lower"
>life forms sleep, such as ants and bees.  I don't know how it was
>determined that the animals were *sleeping*, but they apparently have
>periods of comlete muscle relaxation every day.
>
>--

This may be true for honeybees, but not ants.  Bees are one of the few
non-mammalian and non-avian species which regulate their body temperatures
at a level higher than that of ther environment through physiological
mechanisms.  Therefore it is conceivable that they could sleep as a method
of energy conservation.

Eric




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