Researchers now know that sleep is an active and dynamic state that greatly influences our waking hours, and they realize that we must understand sleep to fully understand the brain.
I am typing this now close to midnight. I ask myself, “why sleep?” Not because I’m staring at the computer with my brain shut off, not because I’m addicted to RSI, but because I am curious. Following a simple google search I came up with this: http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm – to be honest, I once read an article about some old lady who managed to run on 3 hours every 2 days. I think that’s pretty swash.
I also found this link: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/chasleep.html – comparing us with animals, we can look at the brown bat, who clocks a stunning 19.9 hours a day sleeping. This isn’t surprising, as it’ll be hard to get up if you’re lying upside down. We’ve then got the other end of the spectrum, featuring the giraffe, clocking in a mere 1.9 hours of sleep.
In my opinion, sleeping is the equivalent to a pause button in a movie. Except that everything else doesn’t stop. So it’s a type of personal time warp system. In other words, it’s pretty cool. I’ve got an expedition the next day? I sleep early. I’ve got an interview? I (try) to sleep early. I’ve got an exam? I spend the whole night revising. I’m in the exam? I daydream (touch wood). Sleeping reminds me of a Dilbert joke I read quite a while ago: “We’re going to release our new product, it can bring people 1 hour into the future in only 60 minutes!”