Sleeping origin?

suzanne smith suzannes at
Tue Aug 1 21:22:15 EST 1995

dfitts at (Douglas Fitts) wrote:
> bill at (Bill Skaggs) writes:
> >Yes, this is known as the "radiator hypothesis".  It was presented in
> >a Behavioral and Brain Sciences article a little while back, together
> >with assorted critical review.
> >As for my own opinion, it seems to me that Mother Nature could have
> >worked out a better way of cooling off the brain, something that
> >wouldn't turn animals into inert blobs and leave them at the mercy of
> >any predator that happens to wander along.
> If you fell asleep at the water hole you probably wouldn't pass on your
> genes. If you hid and built a nest, maybe you would.  I haven't heard many
> really appealing theories of sleep, but it seems to be metabolically
> efficient -- shutting down arousal/activity for hours a day can reduce
> energy demands, hence the number of hours necessarily spent
> foraging/hunting.  Probably also reduce water demands.  If this time was 
> spent in a nest, hole, quietly perched on a twig, or standing up in the 
> middle of a herd, it might also *reduce* predation risk, no?
> JM2CW,
> Doug

By that argument you would also be cutting down on time spent
looking for mates!  Hence, if I didn't sleep, I could increase
my reproductive fitness (provided I didn't also increase my
chances of being eaten.)

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