Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison are wondering whether sleep is an essential part of life or something that has evolved over time to avoid stress and kill time.
Their study questions why no one has found a core function of sleep and may use sleep as a way to prevent roaming around and wasting energy.
The scientists test a null hypothesis that is expected to answer 3 questions: 1) animals that do not sleep at all; (2) animals that do not need recovery sleep when they stay awake longer; and, finally, (3) that lack of sleep occurs without serious consequences.
It has been reported that only a small numbers of animals have been tested as to whether or not they sleep. Some are instead said to ‘rest’. The bullfrog has been said to not have any type of sleep, but there was only one study done on this in 1967.
Sleep deprivation has had many studies done on it and in some cases sleep deprivation has been known to cause death.
Scientists have found no convincing case of a species that does not sleep, no clear instance of an animal that forgoes sleep without some compensatory mechanism, and no indication that one can truly go without sleep without paying a high price.
But it still makes them ask the question: What is the core function of sleep?
Source: PLOS Biology