The Neuroscience of Sleep

The Neuroscience of SleepIt is striking that sleep, which occupies between a quarter and a third of each of our lives, remains so poorly understood. To put this ignorance in perspective, both REM sleep and the structure of DNA were discovered in 1953. Yet while the discovery of DNA’s structure led to the development of the entire field of molecular biology and spawned the biotechnology industry, sleep researchers still struggle to identify the nature, mechanisms, and functions of sleep. As recently as the late 1990’s, one noted sleep researcher, Allan Hobson, quipped that the only known function of sleep was to cure sleepiness. There are legitimate reasons for this slow progress. For one thing, there does not seem to be a single mechanistic pathway to the generation or termination of sleep.

The Neuroscience of Sleep.exe