Summary of Why Do We Need to Sleep?

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Most people obsess over sleep only when they don’t get enough. Not so the 120 scientists at Japan’s International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine. They brood over the purpose and basic mechanisms behind sleep. Which genes make your circadian clock tick, and which neurotransmitters make it tock? getAbstract recommends Veronique Greenwood’s article to the sleepless and the somnolent.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why sleep is vital, complicated and a near mystery to modern scientists;
  • Which molecules, genes and neurotransmitters are associated with sleep; and
  • What happened when a French scientist transferred brain fluid from a sleepy dog to a well-rested one.

About the Author

Veronique Greenwood has written for Discover, Scientific American, Popular Science, The New Yorker, Time, The Atlantic, and others.



“What is the physical substrate of sleepiness?”

Early in the 20th century, a French scientist prevented a group of dogs from sleeping for 10 days. He then drew fluid from the brains of tired canines and injected it into well-rested peers’s brains – who immediately fell asleep. What substance in the fluid had transplanted the sleepiness from one animal to the other?

Researchers at Japan’s International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine in ...

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