Why do we sleep? Without sleep, we can hallucinate or even become psychotic (Smithsonian.com)
Why do we sleep?
Lexile

That's a good question. But we don't have a good answer.

We know that sleep is important. Without it, we get tired and grumpy. We get headaches and can't think right. Our health suffers. After a number of days without sleep, we can begin seeing things or go crazy.

But we're not the only ones who need sleep. As far as we know, all animals sleep or have sleep-like behaviors. Theres a wide range. Elephants sleep about three hours; platypuses, about fourteen hours. Marine mammals, like whales, can sleep with only one side of their brain at a time. This way they can still go to the surface to breathe.

So sleep is really important. But why is it necessary? There are several theories.

Number one, the efficiency theory. Sleeping keeps us from wasting energy, so we're only active when we need to eat, that sort of thing.

Number two, the tune-up theory. When we're asleep, our bodies repair damage, eliminate poisons, produce important chemicals and all kinds of other maintenance activities.

Number three: the brain theory. While asleep, our bodies may be at rest, but our brains are busy processing new information and organizing memories.

So which one is right? Maybe all of them. Or none of them. Scientists are making a lot of progress in sleep studies. But for the moment, they'll have to sleep on it.

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COMMENTS (38)
  • melissaj-Ste
    5/14/2014 - 01:33 p.m.

    It doesn't matter why we sleep, all I care about is actually sleeping. As I get older, sleep comes less and less and I love sleeping. Sleeping is next to godliness.

  • Preston222
    5/14/2014 - 02:44 p.m.

    It is good to sleep.This story tells why it is good to sleep.

  • TaylorL1-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 12:55 p.m.

    WOW people really do need to sleep I though we sleep for fun

  • ChloeS-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 12:56 p.m.

    why do we sleep.What? Is that a trick question?That was very weard

  • JavianA-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 12:59 p.m.

    I thought sleeping was not important but now I know that it is.

  • ParisD-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 12:59 p.m.

    I wish I was sleeping right now

  • DominickU-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 01:00 p.m.

    i agree sleeping is really good i love to sleep

  • AlexL1-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 01:02 p.m.

    This video about sleep is great and it is great.

  • KasonT-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 01:02 p.m.

    I thank sleep is the best Sirs for your Bran to Fanchon.

  • LaurenM1-Gar
    5/16/2014 - 01:04 p.m.

    I LIKE the color video thank you for telling me lol

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