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New study on why we sleep


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Has anyone had the realization that they remember less in the morning, than they did the night before? I have not. I suppose one cannot remember what is forgotten. People who keep a diary might know from reading what they wrote the evening before, except the act of writing about something will reinforce and tend to preserve memory. Can we test this theory informally?

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Has anyone had the realization that they remember less in the morning, than they did the night before? I have not. I suppose one cannot remember what is forgotten. People who keep a diary might know from reading what they wrote the evening before, except the act of writing about something will reinforce and tend to preserve memory. Can we test this theory informally?

I suppose we could test it by using this thread as a journal of sorts for our sleep patterns? What might we be tracking? Memory function? It stands to reason that going with sporadic sleep will inhibit cognitive function. I didn't fully understand the 'new memories' connection. Anyone care to explain that piece to me? :)

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Well, there are things known about the brain, things unknown, and a fuzzy in-between in which people make guesses. Quite a lot is known about synapses and their chemistry. A synapse is a connection between the output of one neuron and the input to another. As we learn new synapses may be made or existing synapses can make stronger connections. The idea of

 

allowing it (the brain) to create new memories the next day (and throughout a lifetime) without burning out or destroying older memories,

is not a known fact, rather an educated guess.

 

According to Tononi and Cirelli’s theory, we learn things during the day that are not very important and during sleep we forget them. That means our brain remembers things we think are important and forgets less important things. I think (my guess about the educated guess) the idea that we are ready for new memories after sleep refers to the possibility that too many memories might be confusing or that we cannot remember everything, and that synapses weakened or broken during sleep make possible for new synapses or strengthening old ones to remember more important things.

Edited by EdEarl
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It reminds of a neural net re-weighting itself.

 

The day's events strengthening some nodes while the random firings cause a more generalized weakening.

 

 

I do wonder if modern tech would allow us to mess with it while a dream is ongoing. I'd like to try artificial muscle stimulation. Proprioception might provide a back door in.

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Except for sleep walkers, movement and sensation are suppressed during sleep. If you mean to shock a muscle to make it move, that might wake a person; though, I suppose one could learn to sleep through it.

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  • 1 month later...

Sleep is the normal condition of the body.

 

The brain cells only engage in the expensive and energy burning business of arranging and organising themselves into a collective orchestrated activity that is called consciousness in order to do all the things required to obtain food, build shelter and reproduce. Once that is done return to the normal state.

 

Perhaps like when we go to work. We go to work in order to earn money to by the things we need. Consciousness is like work for the body.

 

I think we forget that we are a collection of brainless cells effectively holding hands in a way that ends up with our bodies.

 

I've listened to people wonder at the antics of ants and termites when building nests. Like, how do they collectively build such a complex nests with such tiny brains? My answer is that's nothing compared to how our brainless cells manage to collectively organise themselves to form us. Not forgetting the cells of an individual ant!

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  • 2 months later...

Although an interesting article, it, like most articles and research on the subject of sleep and dreaming, do not adequately evaluate the substance of their content relative to how the sleeping brain likely evolved. Most studies are based on the contemporary nature of brain function and sleep; however, sleep is a product of millions of years of brain evolution, which suggests that contemporary brain function and sleep likely arouse from some earlier state that provides a basis for why the brain engages its contemporary processes--such as sleep. Sleep involves several components that arise from neurally distinct level of brain structure with the earliest component arising from the most primitive structures of the brainstem. Based on the function of those neural sturctures that produce the earliest components of sleep, it is likely sleep evolved from and continues to serve those meatabolic process associated with sustaining those neural systems vital to survival amid periods of rests and between extended periods of food privation. The earliest incarnation of sleep in ancestral animals likely arose as a means to sustain their survival through prolonged periods between feedings. When the contemporary brain becomes active amid sleep as it does when dreaming, neural and physiological systems such as the brain, heart, and lungs experience increased levels of energy uptake and usage, while systems associated with muscle tone decrease in uptake and usage. This is consistent with the likely nature of ancestral sleep wherein muscle readiness may not have been essential to species survival amid resting periods.

Edited by DrmDoc
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