Why do we sleep?

Naomi kestrel at unm.edu
Thu Mar 10 01:36:45 EST 1994

In article <2ldcpf$bkk at darkstar.ucsc.edu>,
Eric Mintz <mintz at orchid.UCSC.EDU> wrote:
>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 you go into further detail about "increased threshold for arousal"? 
>>Do you refer to arousal from the sleeping state, sexual arousal, or...?
>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.
Oh!  My goodness--now that I know that, Ill be sure not to look at the
door next time I am sleeping.  _Thank_ you!

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