Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and is more easily reversible than being in hibernation or a coma. 
Sleep is a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. It is observed in mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and in some form also in insects and even simpler animals such as nematodes.
The purposes and mechanisms of sleep are only partially clear and the subject of substantial ongoing research. Sleep is sometimes thought to help conserve energy, though this theory is not fully adequate as it only decreases metabolism by about 5–10%. 
Additionally it is observed that mammals require sleep even during the hypometabolic state of hibernation, in which circumstance it is actually a net loss of energy as the animal returns from hypothermia to euthermia in order to sleep.

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