The Oct. 24 issue of the magazine ScienceNews features four articles that focus on the science of sleep.
“The Why of Sleep” takes a look at current theories that attempt to explain the purpose of sleep. Saving energy. Promoting learning and memory. Regulating emotions. Boosting the immune system.
Sleep must provide some benefits that are preferable to waking activities. But the primary function of sleep - if there is one - remains a mystery.
One certainty is that sleep is necessary. “Dying to Sleep” examines the many health risks associated with sleep loss.
Animals need sleep too. But “All Kinds of Tired” shows that animals have a diversity of sleep styles.
And “Sleep Gone Awry” explores how sleep research is leading to a better understanding of sleep disorders. These studies may lead to the development of more effective treatments for problems such as insomnia and narcolepsy.