Why do we Sleep?

Scientists know we spend a third of our lives sleeping—on average, a total of 25-26 years. But after decades of study, they still have no definitive answer as to WHY we sleep.

All living creatures sleep. The ways various species sleep is as unique as the creatures themselves: elephants and horses sleep standing up; leopards sleep on tree limbs without falling off; walruses float vertically in the water; giraffes can twist around to rest their heads on their backs or on the ground. Whales and dolphins fall half asleep—one hemisphere of their brains stays awake so they can rise to the surface and breathe at intervals.

And creatures need varying amounts of sleep. Giraffes need two hours or less. Cows do fine on four. Dolphins go for about 10 hours, but it’s believed that they don’t sleep at all their first year of life. And then there’s the hibernating bear, who nods off from September to April.

Yet we still don’t know why. There are several theories; some relating to evolution, physiological necessity, organic restoration, energy conservation. But while scientists may disagree on why we sleep, it’s perfectly clear that it’s a critical adjunct for overall health and well-being.

Not getting the recommended seven to eight hours a day can contribute to emotional and mental illness, as well as a nightmare of physical ailments: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke, according to the medical community. And if that’s not scary enough, consider this: Investigators determined that sleep deprivation played a significant role in the Challenger space shuttle disaster, the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, and the 1989 Exxon oil spill.

So get some rest! Hemi-Sync® can help. Check out our sleep titles to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, achieve deeper sleep, or grab a quick, restorative nap. You will be in good company.

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