Lake-side thoughts: Where Dolphins Have One Over Us

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Day 16 … Nights in the mountains are cool and quiet. Perfect for sleeping. But sometimes I resent that because there is also so much more (fun!) to do. So there’s always a battle going on in my mind. I just found two interesting points about sleep.

First, it’s a misconception that sleep is time for the body and brain to shut down … to “rest”.
Apparently sleep is actually a very active process (for lots of detail on the activity, check out the Science Education page on NIH).  And it seems that this activity is so important that we can survive longer without food than without sleep. And this is also true for mammals, reptiles and birds. In fact, even plants have sleep cycles. (Lots more good stuff on this at Why Do We Need So Much Sleep? )

The second fact I learned – from my teenage son – is that dolphins have figured out how to get their sleep in without making that choice I mentioned: let one half of the brain sleep at a time. I checked out my son’s fact at “How stuff works: do whales and dolphins sleep”. And he’s right, these mammals have perfected multi-tasking!

So, I want to be like a dolphin. And if I can’t, then I’ll take a snooze because after all I’m still getting some pretty cool things done while I nap!

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