Re: Sleep

Jeff Davis (
Sat, 30 Oct 1999 12:20:31 -0700

"Robert J. Bradbury" <>, on Fri, 29 Oct 1999 09:37:14 -0700 (PDT), wrote:

>I concur with [Anders'] comments on the primary purpose of sleep
>being to "integrate" critical experiences into your knowledge
>database. There may also be a biological purpose for
>maintenance, repair & recycling to be done when resources
>(esp. energy) are less needed for "thinking" (though I can't
>point to much hard biological evidence for this).

It seems reasonable, though I too, have no evidence, that thinking employs the current structural "state" of the brain, and that a backlog of new experiences of the latest experiential period would require a certain amount of cellular energy to add them--overlay them--onto the continuously-revised biostructural substrate. Energy resources might be the limiting factor, or it could just be that thinking and revising simply can't go on at the same time. So thinking has to be turned off. The brain's version of "Please excuse the delay while we update our records." This might tend to explain the strikingly different nature of those other metal activities that occur while one is asleep. Perhaps they are confined to areas of the brain not "out of service for the purpose of revision" , or perhaps the nature of these mental activities lack some essential feature of awake thinking, a feature that conflicts with "revising"?

Again, I am reminded of that trance-like state I experience when watching a (Pvt. Ryan) particularly powerful movie. Absorption is all, thinking is turned off, and the movie's content flows directly into long-term memory.

I assert none of this as fact, all is speculation. Caveat emptor.

Best, Jeff Davis

	   "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
					Ray Charles