What is the difference between sleep and unconciousness?

The Deej thedeej at nospam.geocities.com
Sat Feb 24 19:46:22 EST 2001

james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk (James Teo) wrote in
<3a97cb8d.1337641 at news.freeserve.net>: 

>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.

What if someone sustained damage to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which I have 
been told controls circadian rhythm in the brain? Or for that matter any part 
of the hypothalmus?

Someone else on a neurology forum referenced a Cuban man who had encephalitis 
as a kid, which wrecked his either thalamus or hypothalamus, and he didn't 
sleep for forty years. Apparently he "rested" or went into a light stage of one 
and tiny bits of two sleep, no 3, 4 or REM.  He needed to "rest" though, and 
felt it akin to meditation. Anyways, they couldn't induce any sleep with any 
medication on him. He was apparently evauated at the Stanford Sleep Center back 
in the 80's but I haven't been able to find any reference to this study.

Cyberpunk 2020 Famous Last Words
193-"You are on my side, aren't you ?!"
thedeej at NOSPAM.geocities.com

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