To Sleep, Perchance to Dream? Aye, there’s the rub…

Image linked from Quanta Magazine

https://www.quantamagazine.org/sleep-evolved-before-brains-hydras-are-living-proof-20210518/

QUICK, which Shakespeare character gives this famous speech (that I dutifully memorized in high school)?

“…To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause…”

Yes, thank you, Hamlet.

Back to the Science:

I have always understood from my neuroscience colleagues, that humans (and animals) need sleep because our powerful multi-processing brains need downtime to repair, rebuild, consolidate memories, and even allow a pseudo-lymphatic system to remove waste.

Now, it seems, that brainless hydras and jellyfish exhibit sleep behavior. So, if we needed sleep before we needed brains, WHAT IS GOING ON?

Another fact: as life evolved, we had guts before we had brains, so is that a hint?

The article linked above is a fascinating dive into neuroscience and makes you question what you know. The best kind of writing.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Chimerealism

Mashing ideas together

Greg's Webvault

this is where Greg puts stuff he wants to keep

Discover WordPress

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Daring Fireball

CT Lin's CMIO Blog

ALiEM

CT Lin's CMIO Blog

HIStalk

CT Lin's CMIO Blog

the other fork in the road

navigating life via acute corners, wrong turns and dead ends

%d bloggers like this: