- Frozen Man
- Bullet Journal
- Why It’s So Hard to Go against the Grain?
- The Physics Of Surfing
- Why Do Traffic Signs Look The Way They Do?
- Pi Number
- The Shape of Water
- Why It’s Important To Get Enough Sleep
- Where did the meteorites go?
- Why Every City Has Its Own Climate?
- Instant Noodles
- The Coming Renaissance
- Paracelsus: Alchemy to the Aid of Medicine
- History of Coins
Why We Need Sleep
Sleeping is a strange thing to do. Why would living organisms spend at least seven hours a day in deep unconsciousness? After all, it can be dangerous: a predator or a thief can easily sneak up on a sleeping person. Besides, there is so much you could be doing apart from sleeping!
This was the reasoning of scientists when they tried to figure out why we sleep. They began by trying to find a living creature that never sleeps — but they couldn’t!
As it turns out, something similar to sleep is observed even in the tiniest of living organisms; for example, in the millimeter-long roundworms nematodes, as well as in bacteria. However, bacteria’s “sleep” does not look exactly like ours. Free-living (that is, non-parasitic) bacteria have circadian rhythms, which means they can distinguish night from day. Most similar to humans in this respect are the photosynthetic bacteria. For example, during the day, the purple bacteria Rhodospirillum rubrum uses sunlight to make nutrients through photosynthesis. It doesn’t make food in the nighttime — instead, it “naps.”