We’ve all probably wondered at one time or another just why we need to sleep. What is going on in the brain during sleep that is so important that we willingly put ourselves in a vulnerable state for a third of our lives? I mean, we could be eaten by tigers! Okay, that’s not true in our time, but certainly we could be using those hours more productively – studying, cleaning, binge-watching Stranger Things…why do we have to just do nothing for 8 hours a night?
As Jeff Iliff explains in this fascinating TED talk, it turns out that while we sleep, the brain is not just sitting there doing nothing. Something very important happens in the brain during sleep – and it does not happen during waking hours.
If you don’t have 10 minutes to spare, at least jump to 5:30 and 7:30 to see the videos of what’s going on in sleeping brains vs. awake brains. But if you can, watch the whole thing…the guy doesn’t ramble, and it’s super interesting.