2nd April 2007 – Sleep

Sleep – What goes on in the brain whilst we’re not watching or when drugs affect our reality?

Professor Jim Horne from Nottingham University will help us look into what makes us spend a third of our lives vulnerable to predators. What is going on during sleep that makes it evolutionarily worth that risk? Certainly people have, from ancient times, had a fascination about what goes on in sleep and it does not seem to be diminishing.

Professor Horne says “We do need to sleep and no amount of rest will eliminate the need to sleep. How much we need varies but people needing much more than 8 hours are very rare. No-one knows what dreams are, but they can last up to around 40 minutes. Nearly everyone dreams every night but have no recollection apart from the last few minutes if wakened in the middle of it“.

Sleepwalking and people who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens were discussed along with “night terrors“. So, in brief, that is what the brain is up to when we’re not watching!

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