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Originally posted by stayjersey
as long as you have enough fule there is no need for any living thing to shut down and go to what we call sleep....
Originally posted by Shirak
My own theory is that at least in part.
Sleep allows the body to entrain and synchronize its biorhythm.
When the body stops consciously acting entrainment with the natural world around it takes effect.
Alternating between the conscious system and the unconscious system allows the sub conscious or higherself processing and attention power to work out solutions to physiological problems and day to day conundrums.
The amount of times I have slept on a problem to have the resolution present itself upon waking at least give subjective credence to this theory for me.
This prevalence not withstanding, why we sleep is not well understood. Since animals are particularly vulnerable while sleeping, there must be advantages that outweigh this considerable disadvantage.
Originally posted by argentus
My opinion: Our cells are constantly being damaged by various external sources. I think we need sleep because that is the primary manner in which cells can repair -- while at rest. We have a finite and constantly balanced (and imbalanced) chemistry going on in our bodies. The machine is running hard during waking, and when it is powered down, then the finite resources/chemistry go to work repairing cellular damage.
One example -- a person works out with weights. Tiny little muscular tears happen. Chemicals are released, and primarily during sleep do they begin to repair and thus build muscle.