Sleep is something that scientists have always been curious about. Millions of people around the world would agree that we still don’t really understand the meaning of sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 23 and 64 should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, while adults over that age range typically get less sleep.
However, for the late-night social media surfers among us, their sleep time could be a lot lower. This may contribute to the sobering findings of a May 2020 RestoreZ survey, which concluded that 65% of the 2,000 US participants “rarely woke up feeling rested and full of energy”.
According to the website, this has a negative impact on factors such as mood and productivity.
It is not known whether all animals need sleep, but sleep is one of the essentials for most species, for them to function properly. The brain’s metabolism – or the chemical processes needed to keep the body functioning – depends on sleep to recharge. This process is relatively similar in all animals.
Without sleep, the brain can become overloaded and stop working. The longest recorded period of sobriety for a person was 264 hours (about 11 days). Hallucinations, memory loss, and mood swings are well-known side effects of not sleeping for long periods of time, but they are all temporary.
In the animal kingdom, sleep is more complicated. Because most animals are most vulnerable while sleeping.
Many mammals and birds possess a special sleep pattern called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Animals such as dogs, primates, and humans also experience REM sleep. This is the deepest stage of mammalian sleep and the resting stage of the night where dreams occur.
One reason mammals need REM sleep is to keep the skull and brain warm. In turn, this keeps normal bodily functions and regenerative processes running smoothly. Metabolism and food absorption are among the functions that benefit from REM sleep.
Without REM sleep, most mammals would probably die, as the body would essentially shut down. For some animals, like owls, this varies with age. Owls will spend almost 50% of their time sleeping in REM, while adults will spend almost 25%.
However, not all mammals need REM sleep – bears and other hibernation animals don’t go through this phase at all. When in winter hibernation, the animal’s metabolism takes place 20 times slower than when awake. Hibernating animals typically have a body temperature that is only one degree Celsius higher than the air around them. This means that during the winter months, hibernating animals will sleep at a much deeper level than REM in order to save energy. energy saving.
As reported by Britannica, animals that hibernate can gradually reduce their body temperature and metabolic rate. During hibernation, the bodies of these animals stay at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero degrees Celsius), and their breathing and heart rates also slow down significantly. Curiously, these temperature changes are not so true for bears and some other mammals as they are for some cold-blooded fish and animals, and so they are not technically classed as such. kind of hibernation in the true sense of the word.
Animals can wake up quickly when they sense prey or threat, as they usually do, and the effects on their bodies are less severe. Waking up from full hibernation, on the other hand, usually requires a little help from nature.
According to CBS Minnesota, warmer weather with spring wakes many hibernation species. Lori Naumann of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told CBS that hibernating snakes will wake when the weather warms up and the fat accumulated in their bodies has been used up.
“Some animals depend on temperature and weather and daylight to wake up, but other animals rely on hormonal changes and the brain’s thalamus,” Naumann said.
References: Animalia; Unbelievable, ZME