This is the real reason we sleep


Our bodies and minds repair when we sleep, and we recharge our batteries. Or? The findings of a study conducted in the United States suggest that sleep has an entirely different purpose.

What is the purpose of sleep? For the purpose of regeneration? For the purpose of boosting the immune system? For the purpose of cell renewal? All of it is correct, at least in part. But, according to University of Wisconsin experts, our sleep is also vital for something quite different. The Wisconsin Center for Sleep and Consciousness's psychiatrists, lead by Chiara Cirelli and Giulio Tononi, think that humans (and animals) sleep to forget.

What role does sleep play in our lives, according to research?

Please excuse me. Isn't it true that we forget things while we sleep, as nature intended? In fact, our brain needs to forget certain things to absorb the massive amount of information it receives. It creates new synapses virtually every second during the day, as soon as we see, hears, does, or think something. These connections connect the pieces of information such that it makes sense. There are also memories kept there.

The study by Chiara Cirelli and Giulio Tononi confirmed that these synapses are partially cut again while we sleep. The amount of synapses decreases by almost 20 percent during the night. This function is important so that, for example, unimportant memories that are of no use to our brain can be "deleted." Incidentally, this theory is called the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis, and the two U.S. researchers were able to prove it in their laboratory experiments on mice.

To forget (unimportant) things, sleep.

But why do we have to forget things in the first place? This procedure, in reality, makes our lives a lot easier. It would have a huge impact on us if we stored every bad experience from the past in brilliant colors in our brains. For example, we would frequently suffer from worry as a result of remembering every insignificant but dreadful aspect of our life. By erasing such terrible memories from our minds, we will be able to react more calmly in the future. This is why the role of synapse capping during sleep is so crucial.

To forget (unimportant) things, sleep.

But why do we have to forget things in the first place? This procedure, in reality, makes our lives a lot easier. It would have a huge impact on us if we stored every bad experience from the past in brilliant colors in our brains. For example, we would frequently suffer from worry as a result of remembering every insignificant but dreadful aspect of our life. By erasing such terrible memories from our minds, we will be able to react more calmly in the future. This is why the role of synapse capping during sleep is so crucial.

Unfortunately, this scientific finding cannot be used as an excuse for forgotten birthdays. Unless, of course, the person whose birthday you slept through (literally!) is not that important to you...


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