Jon Laake jon.laake at
Wed Feb 22 07:36:08 EST 1995

In article <127hugh.1 at>, 127hugh at (Hugh S. Selsick) says:
>I am interested in gathering ideas about the purpose of sleep.Can anyone 
>suggest why sleep may have evolved, or what physiological functions it 
>serves? Does sleep serve the same purpose in all animals?

One Darwinistic idea is that the dreaming that occurs in sleep allows 
the animal to explore different behavioural responses without actually 
performing them, thus adding the animals repertoire of possible actions 
when confronted with a real life situation. I think (but am not sure) that
this idea originated with Robert McCarley. Of course this does not explain 
all aspects of sleep.

Jon Henrik Laake, MD
Anatomical Institute, University of Oslo, 
POBox 1105 Blindern, 
Tel +47 22851176/51150, FAX +47 22851278, 
EMail: jon.laake at

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