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Description of sleep Sat, Jan 17, 2015
I really like this description of sleep from UC Berkeley sleep researcher Matt Walker: 
It's probably worth pointing out that we as a field cannot give you a consensus answer, agreed upon, as to why we sleep.  Imagine the scenario:  The birth of your first child.  You're there in the hospital; the doctor walks into the room and says, "Congratulations, it's a healthy boy or girl.  We've done all of the preliminary tests, and everything looks good."  And they sort of smile in that reassuring way that doctors can smile.  They turn around; just before they get to the door, they look back at you and they say, "There is just one thing:  From this moment forth and for the rest of your child's entire life, they will routinely and repeatedly lapse into a state of non-consciousness.  In fact it will look not dissimilar to death.  But don't worry, it's reversible.  And I should note that at times, while their body lies still and peaceful, in their brain they will be having remarkable hallucinogenic delusional experiences.  And in fact this will consume an entire third of your child's life.  And I've got no idea why.  Good luck."
From the excellent Inquiring Minds podcast. #science


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