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Sleep is an incredibly weird thing. True, we know that it benefits us to sleep. After-all, when we don’t sleep, our brains become foggy, we become grumpy and a lack of sleep can even manifest itself as physical pain.

But why do we sleep?

Well, if you are already one of our customers you will know the answer. It’s because you have an incredibly comfortable bed.

Couple SleepingBut seriously, it’s generally thought that we sleep at night to recalibrate our brains. This process removes toxins from our brain, commits our experiences that day to memory and even allows us to regenerate cells and tissues in our body, which is particularly important to athletes. However, intense physical activity, which you would think would lead to guaranteed sleep, is far from the case. As insomniacs and other sufferers from sleep issues are not simply cured by some exercise.  So, in theory, our sleep is generally associated with the brain.

Yet a recent study into jelly fish – who scientists believe not to really have brains – has proven that jelly fish appear to sleep too. So, if there’s a reason other than our brains to sleep, why do we truly sleep? Well this is a question that is still dumbfounding scientists, who are unable to answer the question with any true certainty.

However, we do know that our sleep is essential, otherwise humans and other creatures would have evolved ourselves away from the need to sleep. As, when you think about it, the need to sleep makes us all incredibly vulnerable. Lying there, with little to no comprehension of what’s happening beside us makes people and animals easy targets for attack.

The problem with getting to the bottom of the reasonings behind our need for sleep is, that although technology has advanced enough to give us the information, it’s our brains that are yet to understand the meanings behind all these readings and pictures that technology provides us with.

There are, however, some basic theories that scientists have pieced together. Although many of these are associated with ‘what’ rather than ‘why’ we sleep. These include; sleep regulates brain temperature, restores brain tissue, aids learning etc. But, again, these are to do with the brain, and we now know that jelly fish – without brains – sleep too.

This had led to researchers associating the need to sleep with the upkeep of a healthy central nervous system, which is the complex series of nerve tissues in our bodies that are in charge of controlling activities in our bodies. In vertebrates such as humans, this central nervous system also includes the brain and spinal cord. In the case of jelly fish, true they might not have a brain, but a jelly fish still has its own unique central nervous system. So, if sleep is associated with those of us that have a central nervous system, rather than just a brain, this would explain why jelly fish sleep despite not having a brain. It’s just that more complex creatures with brains, have added benefits from sleeping over jelly fish.

Regardless of the reasoning behind why we sleep, there is one thing that all scientists agree on, getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our well-being. So, if you’re finding that sleep is becoming difficult for you, or that you wake up tired, be sure to take steps as soon as possible to improve your slumber. 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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