Whydo we sleep?Werarely think about why we sleep. Yet, we can all agree that we cannot dowithout it and at some point sleep makes us feel better. Conceivably, sleep isone activity that both humans and most animals engage in.
It is true that wehave different sleeping schedules yet it is also true that sleep is just asbasic as other primal need in our lives. One approach that can help inanalyzing the importance of sleep is to compare sleep to other humaneactivities let say hunger. I know it’s fairly easier to comprehend the roleeating plays in relieving hunger, practically; sleeping and eating are not thatdissimilar. For instance, sleeping relieves overall exhaustion and sleepinessjust as eating relieves hunger. For a while it was conceived that sleeping isan inactive state for both the mind and body.
However, over the years researchhas established that sleep is an active period with its own distinctive and complicatedphysical and mental mechanics.Scientistshave tried exploring on why we sleep from multiple approaches. In one approachscientists studied the effect of sleep deprivation on human and animals. Inanother, they analyzed sleeping patterns in an attempt to draw conclusiveremarks on the function of sleep and in another study researchers theorizedthat we sleep due to the body’s energy demands. Nonetheless, regardless ofmultiple researches on the aspects of sleep the answer on why we sleep stillremains elusive.
For a while, it had been difficult forscientists to pinpoint on why we sleep due in part to the fact that theyassumed that the brain was inactive during sleep. However, multiple researches continueto be leveled on this field. Though, still unproven multiple theories on sleephave added up to bring an understanding to why we sleep. Research on sleepparticularly, sleep deprivation suggest that sleep is essential in ensuringthat the brain functionality stay a put. Experiment on sleep deprived ratsproved that when one is sleeping unimportant connections are trashed andimportant ones are reinforced. Moreover, in a study conducted in 2013,researchers conceptualized that the glymphatic system naturally occurred duringsleep and is solely responsible for waste removal. From this study we couldgather that sleep is important since it renews brains functionality. When wesleep, the brain rests so as to improve and recalibrate our synapses as well asenhance our memory skills.
Apparently, we can all relate to sleep essentialitysince when we are deprived of sleep we tend to feel irritable, more tired, lesseffective and very clumsy. In yetanother study, scientists identified that sleep helps us consolidate ourmemories. Conceivably, we take in a lot of information when we are awake. Inessence, such information is just not directly logged into our brains. Rather, throughsystematic and complex processes the information is processed, and then stored fromthe short term memory to the long term one when we are asleep. In addition,research affirms that sleep is crucial in performance of memory tasks.
Ofcourse some of the above explanations on unraveling the sleep mystery are quiteambiguous. For a fact even the pioneer in sleep research, William Dement, wasunable to point out to why exactly we sleep, he states; “As far as I know, theonly reason we need to sleep that is really solid is because we get sleepy.”Nonetheless, while the recommended sleep dosage varies from children to adults,too much sleep like too much of every other thing in life has it effects.
It isbelieved that too much sleep can confuse the part of the brain that isresponsible for controlling the body’s daily activities. I guess this explainswhy we feel drowsy after too much sleep.