Why Do We Sleep?

We sleep to reduce our energy levels, restore whatever we have lost during the day, serve as a survival function, and help us improve our brain development.


Most people think that sleep is such a plain action, but they have never really though about why it is important. They expected short and simple answers to this question.

"Experts say that, despite widespread belief, it is not simply the fact that humans and other animals need rest." (Goode)

It is much more than that; scientists are digging deeper into this topic, trying to answer all of our questions and thoughts.


Scientists Think

''You can rest all you like and you still need sleep,'' Dr. Rechtschaffen said.

Experts' thoughts on this topic vary. Even though the question may seem simple, it is not easy or fast to answer. Research on sleeping has been going on since years ago, and we still do not know the exact answer to "We do we sleep?" They have come up with theories that have opened their research into different branches and are now getting closer to a more specific answer. (Goode)

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(Harvard Medical School)

Inactive Theory

- One of the first theories made

- Served as a survival function

- Kept organisms out of harm

Energy Conservation Theory

- reduce an individual's energy demand

- help conserve your energy resources

Restorative Theory

- restore what is lost in our body

- opportunity to repair itself

- muscle growth, tissue repair, growth hormone

Brain Plasticity Theory

- most recent theory

- correlated to changes in the structure/organization of the brain

- sleep plays a critical role in brain development

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Scientists still don't know the exact answer to "Why we sleep?", but the answer can come from a combination of ideas that they are now taking closer and deeper looks into. Even though these theories are unproven, science has made a huge impact on our knowledge of the essential part of life, sleep. The answer to why we sleep is not simple and does not have an exact answer, but it can be understood through the theories that scientists and experts have made: we need sleep to reduce our energy levels, serve as a survival function, restore whatever we have lost during the day, and help us develop our brain.
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Works Cited

Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Why Do We Sleep, Anyway?" Healthy Sleep. N.p., 18 Dec. 2007. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.

Goode, Erica. "Why Do We Sleep? - The New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.

"How to Sleep Better and Feel Better.... Starting Now!" MyVitaminPacks. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.

"Maternity & Child Sleep Consultant ™." International Maternity Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.

"The Skill of Sleeping." The Ged Lab. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.

Sleep Thermogram. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 6 Feb 2014.

"Why Do We Dream? - Neuroskeptic |" Neuroskeptic. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.

Woo, Marcus. "Why Do We Sleep?" - Science News, Technology, Physics, Nanotechnology, Space Science, Earth Science, Medicine. N.p., 13 Feb. 2011. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.