What is the difference between sleep and unconciousness?

James Teo james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk
Sat Feb 24 10:46:37 EST 2001


On Sat, 24 Feb 2001 02:55:53 GMT, thedeej at nospam.geocities.com (The
Deej) wrote:

>I have looked all over the web for the answer to this question and have had 
>no luck in finding the answer. I am not a medical person, just a curious 
>layman (woman)trying to realistically write a character for a piece of 
>fiction.
>
>I am also wondering if someone had lost the ability to sleep, would 
>anesthetics have an effect?

Sleep requires the loss of consciousness, but is very distinct from
simply knocking your head on the wall and passing out. Sleep is an
active process by which your brain makes itself turn off consciousness
and turn on whatever weird thing it does. EEG changes in sleep also
change in well-described sleep with distinct stages.

I don't know of any disease which causes one to lose the ability to
sleep, so I can't say. Run-of-the-mill insomnia isn't that since it's
just a out-of-sync biological clock.






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