Why do we sleep?

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....

ZZZZZZZZZZZZ....

ZZZZZZZZ....

ZZZZ.....

Ah sleep, so peaceful!

So, why do we sleep?

Well, first of all every animal with a brain sleeps.  A lot of really important things happen while we are off in dreamy dream land. Sleep is when the body gets a chance to repair and process things.  This allows our brain to be refreshed and our cells (throughout the body) to get repaired,  an important part of how wounds heal! 

Not only does it repair the body, but scientists believe sleep is also when your brain indexes and processes memories!  So, sleep is pretty important for our day to day brain functions.

Going without sleep can lead to some scary stuff too.  Losing just one hour of sleep has measurable consequences in loss of memory and cognitive abilities.  In fact there have been some high profile disasters like Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez that are a direct result of sleep deprivation. 

Also, sleep can affect the hormones that control appetite!  There's even a direct link between insufficient sleep and obesity!  Proper sleep is vital for a healthy body!

Also, that's when you dream and that's when you get to be an astronaut or pirate or what have you.  Get some rest, its good for ya! 

Learn more with some sleep related links:

http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689703/

http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/p/TheoriesofSleep.htm