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Sleep Is the Ultimate Brainwasher

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the brush-those-axons dept.

Science 210

sciencehabit writes "Every night since humans first evolved, we have made what might be considered a baffling, dangerous mistake. Despite the once-prevalent threat of being eaten by predators, and the loss of valuable time for gathering food, accumulating wealth, or having sex, we go to sleep. Scientists have long speculated and argued about why we devote roughly a third of our lives to sleep, but with little concrete data to support any particular theory. Now, new evidence (abstract, full text paywalled) has refreshed a long-held hypothesis: During sleep, the brain cleans itself." During sleep, the Cerebrospinal fluid fills channels in the brain, collecting waste products. It uses a lot of energy, leading to the hypothesis that the brain can't clean up waste while also processing sensory input.

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Extremely variable sleeping periods (4, Interesting)

DavidHumus (725117) | about a year ago | (#45157383)

I wonder how well this accounts for the extremely variable sleeping periods of various animals? See http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/chasleep.html [washington.edu] .

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157485)

Cats must have very clean brains!?

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (5, Funny)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year ago | (#45157539)

yep...brain waste excreted with hair balls.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157909)

perhaps this why they appear to be crazy?

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158043)

No, that's why they are so cool.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (4, Informative)

acariquara (753971) | about a year ago | (#45157523)

Humans are polyphasic too, as infants. We are conditioned into a 8-hour cycle, but it's neither the most efficient [wikipedia.org] nor the best one for your health.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (5, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#45157709)

Here's [wikipedia.org] the other link you want; that article only details artificial patterns. In short: it's normal to wake up briefly in the middle of the night, and take about 9-10 hours from when you first go to bed till when you last wake up.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (3)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#45157727)

And here I just thought I have insomnia all these years. I'm normal, y'all are the screwed up ones...

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (5, Funny)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45157949)

"This was also a favorite time for scholars and poets to write uninterrupted, whereas still others visited neighbors, had sex, or engaged in petty crime." ...Or all the above, at the same time :)
Like visiting a neighbor to have sex with his wife and steal some silver in the process... and then write about it.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45158063)

> and then write about it

Tweet during the act.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (4, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#45158669)

When I was in medical school, I adopted a pattern of going to sleep for 4 hours in the early evening, waking up at midnight and studying for 4 hours then back to sleep for a few hours. This seemed to work well and improved my grades.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#45157765)

Author Nicholas Monsarrat kept a split-sleeping schedule he became accustomed to in the Navy when possible:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Monsarrat [wikipedia.org]

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (2, Funny)

stms (1132653) | about a year ago | (#45157593)

That's easy you have a dirty mind.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45157611)

It's probably not the only cause of sleeping. There's a suggestion that mammals evolved to sleep more at night because a common ancestor was otherwise too stupid to realize that roaming in the dark = more danger of being eaten by nocturnal predators. The brown bat at the top of that list obviously has a huge disadvantage in daylight. Sleeping conserves precious energy of course.

Someone has probably noticed if brain ventricle size correlated with amount of time sleeping across different species and within humans. You might imagine that more surface area for the ventricles = clears out faster = less sleep.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (2)

green is the enemy (3021751) | about a year ago | (#45157627)

Carnivores, small mammals and less active animals sleep more, large herbivores sleep less. Carnivores have bigger and more active brains. Large herbivores need to constantly watch out for predators. I think there is no contradiction here.

Re: Extremely variable sleeping periods (-1, Offtopic)

Introduction To Islam (3401149) | about a year ago | (#45157681)

((( O mankind! Say No God But Allah, Achieve Eternal Salvation ))) " Laa ilaaha illallah " (There is none worthy of worship except Allah.) ( Introduction to Islam ) http://www.blogger.com/profile/00783655376697060967 [blogger.com]

Re: Extremely variable sleeping periods (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157891)

fuck off and die.

Re:Extremely variable sleeping periods (1)

Trogre (513942) | about a year ago | (#45158505)

Surface tension in smaller channels requiring more energy/time?

Obvious question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157393)

So what happens when you don't sleep much? (currently running on 2.5 hours)

Re:Obvious question (5, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45157487)

From TFA:

Many neurological diseases—from Alzheimer's disease to stroke and dementia—are associated with sleep disturbances, Nedergaard notes. The study suggests that lack of sleep could have a causal role, by allowing the byproducts to build up and cause brain damage. "This could open a lot of debate for shift workers, who work during the nighttime,” Nedergaard predicts. "You probably develop damage if you don’t get your sleep."

Beta amyloids are specifically mentioned, those make up the plaques that are found in Alzheimers.

Worth pointing out that the effects of sleep deprivation are well known, this is simply trying to explain HOW those symptoms occur.

Re:Obvious question (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45157621)

Why should WHEN you sleep matter. Night or day, as long as you get the needed sleep.

Some people may simply have a more efficient "cleaning" system, and need less sleep.

But I have other concerns with this finding, because it suggests this fluid replacement only
occurs when the brain is not awake, yet we know that there is vast amounts of neural activity
when the brain is asleep and dreaming.

Re:Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157793)

Why should WHEN you sleep matter.

Because if you sleep during the day and you're working the day shift it's not as restful ;-) There are also conflicts when trying to sleep through mother-in-law's visits, the kid's school events and "that movie" she's been waiting for all week.

Re:Obvious question (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45157933)

I agree that it doesn't seem like night or day would matter much.

The second point, you're responding to a new hypothesis put forth by the researcher based on the current findings. The current findings are only that it's cleared out during sleep, not saying that low neural activity is the reason. That part is just speculation. I'd suggest it's probably more complex, that the glial cleaning activity causes abnormal neuronal activity when it's in that mode. Perhaps the reason it happens during sleep is because if it happened while you were awake, you'd hallucinate, act even more irrationally and irregularly etc. Perhaps that's part of the reason that dreams are so bizarre. Pure speculation.

Re:Obvious question (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45158105)

There is activity, particularly during REM sleep, but it is certainly not of the well coordinated nature of the waking state.

As for when, it's only important because most people find daytime sleeping less restful and more prone to frequent wakeups.

Re:Obvious question (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#45158719)

Why should WHEN you sleep matter. Night or day, as long as you get the needed sleep.

Some people may simply have a more efficient "cleaning" system, and need less sleep.

But I have other concerns with this finding, because it suggests this fluid replacement only occurs when the brain is not awake, yet we know that there is vast amounts of neural activity when the brain is asleep and dreaming.

Why should WHEN you sleep matter.

Give shift work a go, not just for a couple of days, try it for a few years. It's like a permanent hang over only without the headache. However I agree, according to MRI scans the brain is actually MORE active during sleep than when it's awake, and not just during dreaming. It's an interesting finding but the "hypothesis" in the summary doesn't make sense to me either, nor can I see anything that resembles it in the abstract. Perhaps the "hypothesis" is just the submitter's speculation?

Re:Obvious question (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#45158731)

Opps, cocked up the quotes in that post.

Re:Obvious question (0)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#45158733)

Why should WHEN you sleep matter. Night or day, as long as you get the needed sleep

A lot of shift workers don't get as much of that needed sleep due to outside interruptions so that's why it's relevant. I'm sure that just slipped your mind and you are not so utterly stupid as to think living in a noisy city is going to have zero impact on people trying to sleep during the day.

Re:Obvious question (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157493)

Apparently, brain poop which may lead to many brain farts.

Re:Obvious question (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about a year ago | (#45157499)

Per the latest studies, higher risk of early dementia.

If you don't kill yourself on the road first.

Re:Obvious question (4, Interesting)

Deflagro (187160) | about a year ago | (#45157587)

I went almost a week without sleep and it definitely screws you up. On day 5, I was hallucinating that there were people around me and seeing things out of the corner of my eye. I had a constant fuzzy feeling and had very little energy. It was an interesting experiment and it was not easy to get to sleep. It took me over a month to get back into a proper rhythm.

Re:Obvious question (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#45157673)

Did you use drugs to stay awake? (caffeine counts) I've never been awake more than 40 hours.

Re:Obvious question (3, Interesting)

Deflagro (187160) | about a year ago | (#45158237)

Not that I remember. It was rough for the first two days but by day 3 I just didn't feel like sleeping anymore. I watched TV or played games all night until people were alive again and continued on with my day. I was exhausted though both mentally and physically somehow. The day after I finally slept was probably the worst. Still no energy but now coupled with nausea and no appetite. It was like a withdrawal of some sort... not recommended :P
I already kick into REM sleep really fast as it is so when I was not sleeping, I would sort of dream while being awake. It's a crazy experience for sure.

Re:Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158157)

Wow, 5 days is crazy. If I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning I am messed up the next day... can't imagine staying awake for a full 48 hours, let alone 5 days.

Re:Obvious question (2)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#45158349)

5 days? that's nothing, 11 days was my record, granted numerous quantities of drugs were involved. By that time I was quite psychotic though and a good friend firmly suggested I sleep with a very well placed punch.

Re:Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158721)

Wow, 5 days is crazy. If I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning I am messed up the next day... can't imagine staying awake for a full 48 hours, let alone 5 days.

How old are you?

I've heard and can provide anecdotal evidence that the young can accumulate a sleep debt with much lower interest rates.

Re:Obvious question (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#45158509)

Took until day 5? At 24 hours I'm seeing and hearing things, as well as the earth constantly shifting underneath me. At 36 hours I could be locked up.

Dreams are calibration patterns (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158051)

I'm still convinced that dreams are artifacts of calibration routines, and only race conditions allow you to remember them.

Re:Obvious question (1)

hebert.idar (3401165) | about a year ago | (#45158097)

Normally, a stint at the next psychiatric warden. You better get some help NOW.

Re:Obvious question (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45158111)

The metabolic toxins build up. eventually they cause lasting damage.

Might should sleep!

Eventually the engine cracks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158717)

And you have to either do a complete overhaul or discard the unit.

Neat. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157405)

I used to imagine it as the brain defragmenting itself. Imagine that! A computer guy seeing biological topics through a computer-geek lens!

Re:Neat. (4, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45157589)

For teenagers, it's more like a cron job running rm -rf /knowledge/school/exam_answers/*

Re:Neat. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157701)

For teenagers, it's more like a cron job running rm -rf /knowledge/school/exam_answers/*

Okay, how to I root my brain to edit my crontab???? Then I can finally not me fail english, which I that unpossible.

Re:Neat. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#45158215)

For teenagers, it's more like a cron job running rm -rf /knowledge/school/exam_answers/*

Okay, how to I root my brain to edit my crontab???? Then I can finally not me fail english, which I that unpossible.

By an alarm clock.

Re:Neat. (1)

demon driver (1046738) | about a year ago | (#45157897)

Yeah, and a perhaps even more adequate analogy would seem to be the 'garbage collection'...

I've seen the defragging happen (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45157997)

Remember how Defrag in Windows 98 used to move the little colored blocks around? One night I got more or less the same thing. When I was about 11, several years before Windows 95 existed, I dreamed I walked into an M/E Root Beer restaurant (apparently a fictional counterpart of A&W restaurants) and in the back room, an anthropomorphic rabbit was sorting a bunch of pieces of paper with pictures on them into various piles. I looked at a few of them, and they appeared to be my memories.

Like so many computer programs... (5, Funny)

christianT (604736) | about a year ago | (#45157429)

Humans suffer from major memory leaks and must be shut down periodically due to poor garbage collection.

Re:Like so many computer programs... (3, Insightful)

Yaur (1069446) | about a year ago | (#45157475)

I don't think its shutting down, so much a suspending all of the threads while the GC runs.

Re:Like so many computer programs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157657)

Suspending threads? Maybe for you, but most of us get to run environmental simulations without IO bandwidth issues (mostly, a few senses are still feeding in, but that's just to maintain a proper "wake on crisis" functionality)

Side question: has anyone else ever attained full REM while awake? It's really interesting have two channels of input for some of your senses. I counted 5 dreams that night, although since I was awake, they only ran in realtime.

Re: Like so many computer programs... (4, Interesting)

TheReaperD (937405) | about a year ago | (#45158337)

A few rare people can achieve a REM-like state while awake. I am one of them. In my case, I learned to do it due to having a lifelong hereditary sleep disorder. Going without sleep for up to five days is a common occurrence. I enter a trance state and begin to dream. I have more control over these dreams than during normal sleep but, I am mostly unaware of my environment though it is not hard to snap me out of it. I'm aware enough that if my name is called or someone touches me, I come out of it. On rare occasions, the dream state does not end right away and I have both stimuli at the same time. It is awkward but, navigateable. The state give me most of but, not all of the benefits of real sleep. My mind responds as if rested, it stops dulusions that occur because of sleep loss and the general mental slowdown that naturally occurs. What it doesn't do is some of the more complex physical cleaning that the body does when you sleep such as clearing substance P from your pain receptors. As I have fibromyalgia, this last point is very relevant.

Re:Like so many computer programs... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45157547)

Humans suffer from major memory leaks and must be shut down periodically due to poor garbage collection.

Except for C programmers who can go on and on without any apparent performance deterioration.

Re:Like so many computer programs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157829)

At least they think so ...

LOLERLOLI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157439)

Frist Pist?

Sleep at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157447)

And that's the reason why I sleep at work

Interesting Thoughts (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45157449)

"During sleep, the Cerebrospinal fluid fills channels in the brain"

So the "wet dream" is all in your head.......

Re:Interesting Thoughts (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45157559)

I had a problem with that line: the ventricles of the brain are ALWAYS full of that fluid. That's what they take during a spinal tap. You don't need to be asleep for that.

Re:Interesting Thoughts (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#45157615)

I had a problem with that line: the ventricles of the brain are ALWAYS full of that fluid. That's what they take during a spinal tap. You don't need to be asleep for that.

Although you may prefer to be...

Couldn't you come up... (3, Insightful)

Arkiel (741871) | about a year ago | (#45157463)

...with a better word than "brainwashing?" Since that already means something that does not match the contents of the article.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45157533)

There are a lot of science articles published in a day. Most titles, a given scientist is only going to glance at them once. The journal and the authors have an interest in making it memorable.

It's not like researchers are going so far as to pay for advertising their papers.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157633)

The paper is called "Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain". The Slashdot title is the misleading one. Scientists don't generally use sensationalist headlines.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45157885)

The slashdot title is taken from the preview article from Science, the second of the two links. I see that the staff writer of that doesn't appear to be a professional scientist, but I have definitely run into scientists using catchy titles.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (4, Informative)

GrandCow (229565) | about a year ago | (#45157635)

...with a better word than "brainwashing?" Since that already means something that does not match the contents of the article.

BEEP BOOP I am a robot can't detect a joke.

Brainwashing is a perfect word to use here since that's exactly what's happening.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#45157671)

...with a better word than "brainwashing?" Since that already means something that does not match the contents of the article.

BEEP BOOP I am a robot can't detect a joke.

Brainwashing is a perfect word to use here since that's exactly what's happening.

"brainwashing" != "brain washing". And I don't think it was that the OP didn't get the pun, it's just that the pun was crap. As I said above, I would have gone with a pun on "dirty mind" if it was my headline.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157639)

Re:Couldn't you come up... (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#45157651)

...with a better word than "brainwashing?" Since that already means something that does not match the contents of the article.

Agree. A "dirty mind" joke would have gone down far better.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157699)

It was a bit of a joke, you see. By using term that already means something to mean something else, and to do it in a way that can't possibly cause confusion in anyone but the dimmest of illiterates, the author added a bit of zest to the story.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157867)

They decided to mess with Google and their search engine customers.

Re:Couldn't you come up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158081)

I'd like to introduce you to the novel and totally never seen before writer's stylistic figure of "pun".

Windows (2)

Phoeniyx (2751919) | about a year ago | (#45157469)

So that's where Bill Gates got the idea about having to reboot Windows every day back when. It's really a form of cleaning the computer. It's good for the system, don't ya know.

Re:Windows (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about a year ago | (#45157725)

Great, now the extreme overclockers will be replacing the liquid in their cooling rigs with cerebrospinal fluid.

Re:Windows (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | about a year ago | (#45157971)

THAT IS A GREAT IDEA FOR A BOOK/MOVIE!

You should get to it before someone else does... I'm thinking something along the lines of Larry Niven's body banks... or the premise of the (terrrible) Repo Men

Re:Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158163)

serial experiments lain is kind of like that.

This explains much, and has been known for a while (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157543)

This is why our sensory inputs (sight, hearing in particular) are mostly cut off during this time. If not periodically cut off, the "noise" starts erasing more permanent memories, causing hallaucinations, etc. (Look up effects of sleep deprivation.) It's a cybernetic quandary; the only way the brain can protect itself from erasure is to periodically stop all inputs.

Re:This explains much, and has been known for a wh (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#45157629)

It's a cybernetic quandary; the only way the brain can protect itself from erasure is to periodically stop all inputs.

Sounds like a hard drive I had once...

It Also (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#45157669)

Gives to time to better process and analyse the data that you collected during the day. Most of what you learn, you learn in your sleep, while unconscionably looking over the stuff that you just did not get while awake, distracted by all the other input going on.

Sleep is for wimps. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157697)

-My employer who has watched "Wall Street" way too many times.

Yeah, I know - get another job. About that ....

I just trained a Chinese guy about pointers in C code ... before I got canned.

And I got to deal with the hiring folks who are all "why are you unemployed? If you were any good, you'd be employed."

I wish I went into some other profession other then technology - anything - my electrician cousin doesn't have to deal with this shit. I asked, "I how can I get into being an electrician?!"

GO to school, and get hired by my utility - we're not hiring now,btw and we're cutting backing back. Everyone before you has seniority.

Fuck me.

Re:Sleep is for wimps. (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year ago | (#45157781)

If you can learn to compose well-written proposals and stay relatively positive, you can always do contracting (assuming you have skills that are in demand). Take a look at Guru.com [guru.com] . You'll be bidding against third world countries, but you wouldn't want the sort of employer that would hire them anyway, and there are ones looking for quality over cost.

Night is dark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157705)

Save for sex, most of those activities we aren't very good at in the dark. It's probably more efficient for us to save energy by sleeping, and actually act during daylight. To me, this is the most persuasive basic reason for sleep.

Re:Night is dark (1)

Lord Maud'Dib (611577) | about a year ago | (#45158381)

You're doing it wrong. As Bowie put it "Don't forget to turn on the light Don't laugh Babe, it'll be alright"

Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157737)

A higher order species that has brains that can "cleans" itself without requiring sleep would have so much evolutionary advantage that they would rapidly take over the entire planet (sort of like flowering plants). Why hasn't 3+ billion years of evolutionary produced such a species?

Re:Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157849)

A higher order species that has brains that can "cleans" itself without requiring sleep would have so much evolutionary advantage that they would rapidly take over the entire planet (sort of like flowering plants). Why hasn't 3+ billion years of evolutionary produced such a species?

Um... hello? Are you just not aware of corporate America and the seemingly prevalent idea that you can just overwork people to death to squeeze out a few extra bucks for the shareholders? The key idea here is that eventually the "to death" part will be minimized once the riffraff suffer enough breakdowns and kill themselves off, leaving us with the highly-evolved emotionless automatons whose need for sleep decreases every generation...

Re:Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (1)

h2oboi89 (2881783) | about a year ago | (#45157865)

Well dolphins and a few other animals do 1/2 their brains at a time (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unihemispheric_slow-wave_sleep#Species_exhibiting_USWS). Just because a feature is "better" does not guarantee something will come along with it and prosper. Evolution works along the lines of "good enough" and so far this particular feature has not caught on in a species capable of taking over from humans.

Re:Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#45158099)

Imagine reason waking up and finding out what the right brain has been up to. Every day or so.

Re:Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (3, Interesting)

jeff4747 (256583) | about a year ago | (#45158053)

There's advantages and disadvantages to every evolutionary option. It's not clear that not sleeping is a very large advantage.

Sure, it means being active for an additional 8 hours a day. But being active also means needing more food. Being active all night in a time before artificial light means more injuries. It also means missing out on the social effects of sleeping - "sleeping together", even without sex, reinforces relationships.

Re:Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (3, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year ago | (#45158109)

We, sleeping creatures are "lucky"* that by "coincidence" the day is divided in two parts so different that an animal well adapted to one of them don't fare very well on the other. So, most animals adapt to one of those parts, and just protect themselves the best way they can at the other. For nearly all animals, being awake wouldn't make much of a difference.

* Lucky that we adapted to exactly the environment that we evolved on. What a coincidence, isn't it?

Re:Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about a year ago | (#45158227)

There'd probably be a huge overhead to doing this kind of thing while awake. Enough to make it completely impractical. Also, evolution doesn't tend toward perfect, it only tends toward "lives long enough to have children."

Re:Evolutionary pressure to not sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158239)

To be honest, sleepless animals sounds like a very high-tier evolutionary stage that would require a decent amount of time to develop.
I think we might have seen more of it if the dino-asteroid never happened, but at the moment only a few species have developed the stages that would end up with sleepless animals given the time. (h20boi89 linked that below)
Plus, we wouldn't be here.

Same goes for other things, such as heartless anima... oh wait we have that, lawyers.
But really, animals with no single heart, but either more hearts or something else, such as some muscle structure in a major arter[y/ies] that cycles in the same way.
Think of humans, those 2 fats things in the neck, 2 muscles on each side cycles it in and out (same direction as it is now), sounds simpler, right?
Wonder why it never evolved like that and instead became the organ we currently have. I'd assume because it is closer to the lungs. (only going on humans for that though)
Admittedly our necks would probably be 1.5-2 times thicker. Great if you have a thing for necks.
But on the upside we now have TWO full-sized lungs! AWE!

Very happy with these findings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157811)

I mean, even a short nap instantly improves how you feel, anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
And even through the day, a full sleep cycle of 90 minutes at various times instead of one huge monophasic sleep cycle more or less works the same since you naturally wake up around 100 minutes if there is activity going around you or it is bright enough. (sure has worked that way for me since, uh, 13-ish when I started doing it, now double that age with a birthday in 2 days, towards wizardhood)
And more and more they are finding this out as research is done in to split-sleep cycles, which is great, I don't want to end up with triple alzheimer's by the time I am 30 through some stealth ninja problem. Oh well, doing science, etc. I will post my findings on death.

I dunno though, the biology behind it is sound, humans naturally tend to be multi-phasic in sleep throughout early life, and many around the world still practice it (including the Spanish Siesta, one of the more known traditions based around it)
But modern society has forced this single long sleep for many reasons, such as saving on travel time / costs to keep workers in the workplace for a longer period.
Although there was actually something recently looking in to the revival of on-site homes and accommodation for staff in many places, Facebook just recently joining in on it.
Sounded pretty reasonable that the brain does some maintenance and clean-up since a lot of gunk must pile up through those trillions upon trillions of interactions that happen constantly to keep you up and about.
The brain is just like a muscle, the more and harder you use it, gotta stretch it and flex it, then give it a nice cooldown time before using it again.

My usual pattern is a 4-5 hour sleep from 5am and 100 minute nap at around 3pm-ish. Occasionally I do 3, depends what I am doing.
I also meditate too, which only really happened a few years after, which helped even more.
Never turned me in to a vegetable either, pretty high IQ (useless number) and great grades in school for the most part. (hated French)

So don't skip in your sleep, split it up if you need to. Just don't do that silly polyphasic sleep nonsense, you need at least 90 minutes a nap and at least 3 of those in a day as far as we know. Well, you can do it for limited periods, just don't do it long term, that crap builds up in your head and all it takes is the right conditions for it to become a chain reaction of hard plaque and slow death.
Shine brighter, die quicker, something about tears and rain. Don't bank on science curing things, it might not.

Re:Very happy with these findings (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45158005)

I mean, even a short nap instantly improves how you feel, anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

Not everyone responds well to short naps. I don't. I know I'm no alone. ...not simply trying to be contrary, just saying that short naps aren't for everyone.

newss to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157835)

and all this time i thought the blood cells took waste away from the brain cells to the kidneys. I learned something new today. thanks for posting

Re:newss to me (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#45158299)

and all this time i thought the blood cells took waste away from the brain cells to the kidneys. I learned something new today. thanks for posting

There's also lymph - the forgotten circulatory system.

So that is why naps are so good! (2)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#45157837)

Mid-day sweeping keeps the cobwebs out.

More pseudo science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157841)

People get handsome grants to 'study' the mind, and regardless of the value of anything they 'discover' they need to publish papers to keep that money flowing.

Here's the REAL state of science in this field. We do not have the FAINTEST idea why many Earth creatures evolved a sleep mechanism. Showing the downsides of sleep deprivation is NOT a proof of why we have a sleep mechanism. Clearly, the brain no more needs a regular 'cool down' period than do the other organs of the body.

TRUE science is partly the concept of knowing clearly the things we do not yet understand. Betas find this aspect of scientific theory baffling.

Mechanistic attempts to understand sleep are bad science- full stop. We are conscious. We think. We give meaning to the Universe. Concepts that fit badly with the mechanisms that underpin standard scientific methods. Logically, it would be obvious to most rational people that sleep links to who and what we are, as conscious entities. The best scientists NEVER had/have an issue with this 'spiritual' dimension. Much poorer scientists think the denial of self brings scientific 'kudos' and legitimacy, and thus attempt to turn people into "logs".

Sadly, America has a long history of studying the mechanisms of things like sleep for VERY evil purposes. To find new ways of torturing Humans. To find ways to make soldiers more murderous, and less prone to fatigue. To allow the under-classes to work multiple jobs, with reduced sleep patterns (the drugs Americans have gotten over-the-counter since before the 1950s to allow them to sleep less are almost unknown in other nations).

An ordinary person, with no formal science training, could list all kinds of potential advantages of the sleep mechanism. Their POV is "top down" of course, a way of thinking that low quality scientists are VERY poor at. Crappy scientists are almost always "bottom-up only" thinkers.

A True "Sleeping" Pill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45157887)

1. Find a drug that accelerates this process.
2. Profit!
Yeah, skip the '?' step. What would you pay for a pill that would let you wake up after a couple of hours, feeling like you had a full night's sleep?

Re:A True "Sleeping" Pill (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45158017)

A lot(tm).

There's a fantastic return on that, since it effectively increases my lifespan by 30%.

False. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158059)

Faux News is.

So, if you're inhuman (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#45158061)

And wish to engage in brainwashing of your own, how should sleep deprivation feature in your... um... "protocol"?

Modafinil (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45158185)

What does this imply for the idiots who figure they can just replace most or all of their sleep with Modafinil? I'm guessing there are going to be a few sad stories in the future.

When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45158687)

"...since humans first evolved..."

What does that mean, exactly? When was the first offfspring or set of offspring born where they said "Ah! This is different. This is a human!"

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