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Why sleep? UCLA scientist delves into one of science's great mysteries
Date:8/20/2009

savings have considerable adaptive significance. Besides conserving energy, sleep invokes survival benefits for humans too "for example," said Siegel, "a reduced risk of injury, reduced resource consumption and, from an evolutionary standpoint, reduced risk of detection by predators."

"This Darwinian perspective can explain age-related changes in human sleep patterns as well," he said. "We sleep more deeply when we are young, because we have a high metabolic rate that is greatly reduced during sleep, but also because there are people to protect us. Our sleep patterns change when we are older, though, because that metabolic rate reduces and we are now the ones doing the alerting and protecting from dangers."


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Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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