Why do we need sleep?

flunky nassau

Senior member
Feb 17, 2007
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While we are sleeping, most of our cellular processes are still active. The evolution of what process required that the entire organism to sleep? And what organism first exhibited sleep?


I guess the real question is, why EXACTLY do we require sleep? If you answer, "To rest your brain," then exactly what needs resting & why can't it operate continuously?

Bored at work & just sitting here thinking about random stuff.
 

Mo0o

Lifer
Jul 31, 2001
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i dont think scientists fully understand all the aspects of sleep. why dont you wiki it and follow up on the citations
 

jagec

Lifer
Apr 30, 2004
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It is mostly mental housekeeping. Our brains are really a kludge, and they start screwing up and throwing random errors if you don't do some cleaning/organization on a regular basis.
 

dbk

Lifer
Apr 23, 2004
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Because if I stay up too late my eyes start to burn and my whole face feels like it's going to 'lock up'. Sleep remedies this.
 

LS20

Banned
Jan 22, 2002
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seems like a pretty easy test to me. go for a few days without sleep and see what happens
 

TallBill

Lifer
Apr 29, 2001
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Actually, the military has found way to trick the brain into not being tired, at least for 48-72 hours. They still haven't discovered the actual purpose of sleeping.
 

Mo0o

Lifer
Jul 31, 2001
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Originally posted by: TallBill
Actually, the military has found way to trick the brain into not being tired, at least for 48-72 hours. They still haven't discovered the actual purpose of sleeping.
I think they call that meth ;)
 

yoda291

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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Originally posted by: Mo0o
Originally posted by: TallBill
Actually, the military has found way to trick the brain into not being tired, at least for 48-72 hours. They still haven't discovered the actual purpose of sleeping.
I think they call that meth ;)

provigil?
 

flunky nassau

Senior member
Feb 17, 2007
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Originally posted by: rbV5
The evolution of what process required that the entire organism to sleep?

Probably the rEvolution of the planet (night and day cycle).


Let me take a stab at it.

Organisms evolved sleep as an adaptation for the day/night cycle of the planet. At night, organisms (at least ones that rely on vision) are more likely to cause harm to themselves because they can't see may fall into a hole or something. Sleep is simply a way to avoid the perils of night.

If not for this, then why would sleep evolved from simply...darkness?

Many holes in that theory, but just took a stab at it.


Edit: Of course there are organisms without vision that sleep, so yeah..... bleh
 

NanoStuff

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Mar 23, 2006
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Originally posted by: flunky nassau
Originally posted by: rbV5
The evolution of what process required that the entire organism to sleep?

Probably the rEvolution of the planet (night and day cycle).


Let me take a stab at it.

Organisms evolved sleep as an adaptation for the day/night cycle of the planet. At night, organisms (at least ones that rely on vision) are more likely to cause harm to themselves because they can't see may fall into a hole or something. Sleep is simply a way to avoid the perils of night.

If not for this, then why would sleep evolved from simply...darkness?

Many holes in that theory, but just took a stab at it.


Edit: Of course there are organisms without vision that sleep, so yeah..... bleh

One hell of a shot in the dark that was :)
 

SludgeFactory

Platinum Member
Sep 14, 2001
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You might find this interesting, I saw it the other day on PBS.

Any time there's a sleep thread on here, it's like a contest to brag about how little you get. My sleeping habits are atrocious and have been for a long time, for no good reason. This goes beyond just feeling tired and sluggish and having to drag yourself through the workday or schoolday. I'm beginning to suspect that I've hindered learning and memories over time, it makes me wonder if I've even permanently affected my brain in some negative way.
 

Eeezee

Diamond Member
Jul 23, 2005
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Originally posted by: flunky nassau
Originally posted by: rbV5
The evolution of what process required that the entire organism to sleep?

Probably the rEvolution of the planet (night and day cycle).


Let me take a stab at it.

Organisms evolved sleep as an adaptation for the day/night cycle of the planet. At night, organisms (at least ones that rely on vision) are more likely to cause harm to themselves because they can't see may fall into a hole or something. Sleep is simply a way to avoid the perils of night.

If not for this, then why would sleep evolved from simply...darkness?

Many holes in that theory, but just took a stab at it.


Edit: Of course there are organisms without vision that sleep, so yeah..... bleh

Then why do organisms in regions that have nearly no darkness for some parts of the year? On the solstice in Iceland, there is essentially no darkness. The sun will set at midnightish and come back up in 2 hours, so you never quite reach darkness.

There are many reasons to sleep, your entire body benefits from a good night's rest. You're releasing different sets of chemicals while asleep (melatonin is one of them and recently scientists have found that melatonin deficiencies can cause all sorts of problems. Melatonin production increases when you're in a dark place and when you're asleep). I don't think it's that well understood, but it can't hurt. Sleep feels great. I wish we could go without it, but alas

And that drug that the US Airforce has been using I believe is called Modafinil (sp?), they conducted trials on helicopter test pilots. The article I read in a Newscientist was really amazing, the pilots were able to perform as normal for up to 72 hours but could fall asleep at any point before that. They classified the drug as a "pseudostimulant" since it doesn't force you awake like Caffeine but rather allows you to essentially ignore the need for sleep.

I don't think you can get it without a prescription, it is probably a good drug for people with severe sleep disorders. A lot more testing needs to be done before I'd feel safe taking it, but I sure would like a few long days without the consequences.
 

NanoStuff

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Mar 23, 2006
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Originally posted by: Eeezee

And that drug that the US Airforce has been using I believe is called Modafinil (sp?), they conducted trials on helicopter test pilots. The article I read in a Newscientist was really amazing, the pilots were able to perform as normal for up to 72 hours but could fall asleep at any point before that. They classified the drug as a "pseudostimulant" since it doesn't force you awake like Caffeine but rather allows you to essentially ignore the need for sleep.

I don't think you can get it without a prescription, it is probably a good drug for people with severe sleep disorders. A lot more testing needs to be done before I'd feel safe taking it, but I sure would like a few long days without the consequences.
There's the first version, adrafinil, modafinil is the current, more efficant version, armodafinil is the third generation that recently passed the FDA. The drug does more than sleep inhibition, it's also commonly used unrelated to sleep deprivation to improve concentration and general mood by influencing dopamine retention. As for there being no consequences, there are consequences. One substantial consequence is in the area of verbal communication. The drug hinders one's ability to formulate thoughts into words. This might also apply to non-verbal communication but I'm unsure of this. Cognitive performance also deteriorates regardless of the individual's alertness, though this varies with the task.

You can get it without a prescription online. It tends to be much cheaper than the official Cephalon version, particularly in powder form, but you should consider heavy metal toxicity as a result of the synthesis if it's not a retail manufacturer, but keep in mind even retail drugs contain heavy metals. Sun pharma is probably the most reputable overseas manufacturer, but there are a number of independent toxicity tests for other manufacturers.
 

glenn beck

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Oct 6, 2004
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Originally posted by: TallBill
Actually, the military has found way to trick the brain into not being tired, at least for 48-72 hours. They still haven't discovered the actual purpose of sleeping.

yeah I now my friend who was Special Forces, can't get a good night sleep anymore because of the sleep deprivation training