Why Do People Sleep? Surprisingly, Nobody Knows

Neuroscience

By: Jordan Gaines, 2nd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program

SleepWhy do people eat?

The answer is obvious: to convert food into energy for us to do work. We wouldn’t be able to move or think otherwise, and lack of food would eventually starve us to death.

Now consider: why do people sleep?

According to William C. Dement, renowned sleep researcher and founder of the U.S.’s first sleep laboratory, “the only reason we need to sleep that is really, really solid is because we get sleepy.”

In other words, after decades of research—nobody quite knows.