This week is something different. I usually talk about some aspect of the arts and media, but this time my subject is science - specifically sleep, and a possible reason why we sleep. My ideas on sleep are certainly novel ideas. But you will also find a lot of casual evidence to support them in studies posted on the internet. I have put his essay on a science newsgroup, and I'm reposting it here. If these ideas are true, they may point the way to some important discoveries concerning sleep.
Hypothesis On Why We Sleep - Mysteries of Sleep are Unraveling.
Here is a hypothesis that suggests that sleep is half of the metabolism process for humans. Here is a quick summary.
The body has a metabolism cycle that has two parts The first part is the wake phase. The second part is the sleep phase. Then the daily cycle repeats.
During the WAKE phase the person takes in food and breaks it down. This is mostly a phase of catabolic processes that break down the food.
This is followed by a SLEEP phase where the food is used and the body prepares waste out. This is mostly anabolic processes.
The Sleep phase has generally, two major components NREM (not rapid eye movement) or slow wave sleep, and REM (Rapid Eye Movement)
During the first part of the SLEEP phase, the NREM phase, the person replenishes the body with nurturing and other anabolic processes.
During the second part of the Sleep phase, the REM phase, the person prepares the body for waste out.
Then the person wakes and the cycle repeats.
The hypothesis suggests that in childhood a pattern is set up that determines the amount of each phase of sleep - that this pattern is highly influenced by the breast-feeding pattern set up between the mother and child. - that the pattern is one of two main types.
IF there is an excess of breast feeding the child will compensate by setting up a sleep pattern that takes in less nurturing = less NREM sleep, and more waste out or REM sleep.
Consequences of this are - an adult with a lean body type, a feeling of over fed, over stimulated, and all the health problems of being underweight.
IF there is not enough breast feeding the child will compensate by setting up a sleep pattern that takes in more nurturing = more NREM sleep, and less waste out or REM sleep.
Consequences of this are - an adult with a fat body type, a feeling of not enough waste out, and all the health problems of being overweight.
The pattern is almost impossible to change - yet.
And it should be clear that for those trying to gain weight, they will be unable to, unless they alter their sleep pattern with MORE NREM sleep.
And it should be clear that for those trying to loose weight, they will be unable to, unless they alter their sleep pattern with MORE REM sleep.
Their are many studies that show a casual connection between
underweight and lack of NREM sleep AND
overweight and lack of REM sleep. (Google sleep and underweight or overweight or eating disorders, etc.)
Readers if I am right we finally know:
1. Why we sleep - that its the 2nd part of the daily metabolism process
2. Why we are underweight or overweight. Either a lack of NREM (underweight) or a lack of REM (overweight).
3. For the first time in history how to solve problems of underweight and overweight and all the health problems associated with each.
4. How to test the hypothesis - every lean body type should have low NREM sleep, every heavy body type should have low REM sleep.
That is big news!!!
(editor of the 16 year old zine Musea)