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Why do we sleep? Naps might free up space for learning more

from NewScientist

It is one of life’s great enigmas: Why do we sleep? Now we have the best evidence yet of what sleep is for — allowing housekeeping processes to take place that stop our brains becoming overloaded with new memories. All animals studied so far have been found to sleep, but the reason for their slumber has eluded us. When lab rats are deprived of sleep, they die within a month, and when people go for a few days without sleeping, they start to hallucinate and may have epileptic seizures. more

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