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Is Sleep Deprivation Fatal?


What is the function of sleep?


As humans, we normally conceptualise sleep as purely cognitive, but it also has important cellular functions outside of the nervous system. Understanding sleep in evolutionary terms can provide clues.


For example, Hydra with primitive nervous systems do sleep: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abb9415

Quanta magazine article on this topic:


Exploring phylogeny to find the function of sleep:


What can sleep deprivation tell us about the function of sleep? And how can sleep deprivation lead to death?


Sleep deprivation increases reactive oxidation species in the gut of flies (Dragana Rogulja):


Reducing oxidative stress also reduces the need to sleep:


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