Why Be Awake? (Re: A Theory of Sleep)

Brian zhil at online.no
Sat Oct 6 15:26:18 EST 2001


"yan king yin" <y.k.y@(no spam please)lycos.com> skrev i melding
news:9pnkq8$jjs14 at imsp212.netvigator.com...
> > Why sleep? I ask you a different question: why be awake?
>
> I have read the relevant chapter in Kalat's book "Biological Psychology".
> I can only get the 1988 edition, the 2001 one being borrowed. I guess
> i understand the basic argument for the evolutionary perspective. It
> makes a lot of sense, especially when comparing total sleep time among
> species, but i have some objection.
>
> As a human being i sometimes feel that i sleep way too much and i
> think it should be much more advantageous for me if i can sleep less.
> Is this unique to human beings? Are we the only species that occupy
> ourselves with so many activities?
>
> But it seems likely that the need for more wakeful time is also true for
> other species -- better chance to escape from predators, more time for
> reproduction, etc. Thus, if sleep does NOT serve any special function,
> then sleepless animals would have evolved and replaced the sleeping
> population.
>
> The conclusion seems to be that sleep has some special function. It
> could be recuperative, such as replenishing neurotransmitter stores.
>
> So i think the waking state, rather than sleep, should be regarded as
> the "default" state.
>
> y.k.y

I think of it as 'recharging  the batteries'.
Anyway, do you remember the memory-effect on batteries ?
If you discharge the battery after use completely, the battery will act as
new.
What happens if you DON'T drain the battery, but starts to recharge it
indiscriminately of how much power that already exist in the battery
_before_
the recharge ?
It seems that the capacity of the battery is being deflated through constant
use,
while a total drain will reproduce the natural 'spring'/effectiveness as
when it
was shipped out of the factory.
Bear in mind that these are things that works for ordinary peoples lives,
but
how does it reflect on neuroscience ?
Well, think of it this way, how are long term memory through potentiation
stored ?
At the synapses, that is the answer science have shown us, right ?
Ok, what would the consequence be, if the neuron didn't get it's total drain
through sleep and a resulting downtime were the efficiency were restored ?
You've probably been though the same experience with too little sleep, or no
sleep at all.
We get drowsy, and slow - both mentally and physically.
See the neurons as tiny batteries, sleep is drain and recharge in one.

Brian





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