Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ask L.Marie: Why Do We Sleep?

Dear L.Marie: Why do we sleep?  -D, NY ~
Thank you D, for submitting a question: The act of sleeping is a state in which temporarily activity ceases to occur in the human body. Our natural circadian rhythm runs on a 25 hour cycle. It is during this cycle that drowsiness sets in approximately every 12 hours. The reasons behind why we sleep are divided into two common theories. The restorative theory is based on the principle that we sleep to restore and revive our mind and body. This theory suggests that the body rests, while tissue and nerves are renewed. During this time, the brain shifts through information that has been collected. The adaptive theory is based on a survival principle. Through evolution it has become natural that animals find food during the day/night, because of optimal sight ability. During the night/day the animals rest or hide because of limited sight ability. Whatever the reason why we sleep, it is common belief that sleep deprivation can cause multiple issues in the waking world. Sleep is a human function that is frequently being researched, however it is common consensus that it is essential to our well-being. 

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