Sleep Is An Undoubtably Essential Part Of Life

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Sleep is an undoubtably essential part of everyone 's life. Although we rest our bodies for another day of activity, our minds seem to keep going. During ancient history, dreams were considered omens or prophecies and sometimes recorded on clay tablets in 3100 BC Mesopotamia. While people today do not rely so heavily on their dreams, it has become an omnipresent part of our society. Sleep is a crucial part of our lives and takes up about one-third of our lifetime. Sleep is defined as a natural state of rest that rejuvenates the body of energy. Sleep is caused by biological rhythms which are periodic physiological fluctuations in the body. More specifically, circadian rhythms involve the sleeping and wake cycle, body temperature, blood pressure, …show more content…
Sleep is an essential part of life, but do we know why we fall unconscious for thirty percent of the day? A variety of theories have been made for the need for sleep. One from an evolutionary point of view proposes that sleep was a way that animals could protect themselves from predators during the night when they are vulnerable. A second theory is that sleep is a way to conserve energy; saving calories during the night allows animals to eat less and search for food in the daylight when it is easier. A third theory is that sleep is restorative. Scientists have proposed that sleep restores, replenishes, and rebuilds the brain and body. This theory has been supported by research which showed that many of the body’s cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins during deep sleep. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep can result in higher stress levels and lower immune system functioning. The fourth theory is that sleep plays a role in brain plasticity. Brain plasticity refers to its capacity to change in response to experience, or in other words, learn. This theory has been defended by studies which have shown that sleep …show more content…
We travel through various stages of sleep during the night, but one of the deepest stage of sleep is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep which is an active stage of sleep. Civilizations have wondered about dreams for millennia, most thinking they foretold the future. However, today scientists and psychologists theorize the causes of dreams. Sigmund Freud, a prominent psychologist of the late 19th century, theorized that dreams are the reflections of the subconscious. Freud believed that dreams could be analyzed to reveal hidden desires and wishes. Freud distinguished the material of dreams are manifest content and latent content. He believed that manifest content was the dream 's surface content while latent content was the subconscious meaning. As technology and science grew, other theories on dreams were produced. The cognitive theory uses the same concepts of analyzing the waking brain as on dreams; this theory states that dreams are essentially subconscious cognitive processing. Contrary to Freud 's view of dreams, the cognitive theory does not believe in the hidden or symbolic meanings of dreams. The cognitive theory believes dreaming is not different from the waking mind and uses the term "default network" which refers to a collection of neurons that are active during daydreaming and whenever we are not focused on a

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