Re: Sleep

Robert Owen (
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 00:02:07 -0400 wrote:

> "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's strange, though, that we don't consciously perceive any difference
> in our "knowledge base" or our memories after sleep.

Has anyone considered the hypothesis suggested by sleep research and Hamlet that we sleep in order to dream? The peer-reviewed research finding that it is possible to induce psychosis in subjects if they are persistently awakened when REM states are detected implies, but does not prove, that dreaming is the necessary and sufficient condition for socialized cognition when awake.

Now, if we knew [1] how to induce a transient conscious analog of dreaming that would perform the required function when awake, or [2] how to modify cognition and/or conation so that e.g. there was no residuum requiring reduction by dreaming, we might be in a position to dispense with sleep per se.

Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA