February 16, 2006

Do people really need to sleep?

Posted in sleep at 5:39 am by Francisco

Some people think that we rest during our sleep, and that without sleeping we would be tired, and get sick.

In contrast, experiments with dogs as well as polyphasic sleepers have shown that it is not sleep that we need, but REM dreams. Dogs have died when prevented from dreaming, but not when prevented from sleeping. Polyphasic sleepers get by fine with 3 hours a day of mostly dream sleep.
However, there is a guy in vietnam who has been without any sleep for 30 years! He is active and in good health. Is he lucky genetically? Or is it something he learned? This means that not sleeping does not necessarily lead to death or bad health. We just need to figure out how to get rid of sleeping.

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22 Comments »

  1. [...] Vietnam Man Handles Three Decades Without SleepĀ (via) [...]

  2. Chris said,

    I love sleeping

  3. Carl Smith said,

    Would you want to get rid of eating and breathing?
    Also, I’m unfamiliar with the Vietnam journal you reference. Is it generally a credible one?

    • Sophi said,

      If I could could stop myself from eating, breathing and sleeping but still be living and energetic I would. It would give me more time to do what I want. Also I’m not fond of any of my bodily functions, and would gladly give them up.

  4. fredoh said,

    Here are some links that I believe will be interested

  5. Andy said,

    Chris said,

    March 3, 2006 at 12:59 am

    I love sleeping

    Hey Chris, how do you know- you sleep right through it all!! (Think about it..)

  6. Justin said,

    “…could not sleep at night after getting a fever in 1973.”

    There’s your answer right there. He probably suffered some sort of brain damage from the fever.

    Nowhere does say if he still has to rest sometimes, or if he goes into REM sleep-like stages while still appearing to be awake.

    If we just need REM dreams, then I’d still rather be asleep for them.

  7. Monica said,

    I love to sleep all day and all nite!

  8. raghuram said,

    i personally feel that we need to have REM dreams to have our life to continue.
    i personally feel that a person taking early retirements from his work is facing more health problems than other person who is still trying to continue work,,,,,,,
    for me Sleep is not so important but getting REM dreams is important,,,,,,
    REM—-> RAPID EYE MOVEMENT
    hence i love to have REM dream,,,,,,,,,,

  9. Vanessa said,

    Sleeping is weird.. it’s addictive. when I start taking naps in the middle of the day, I have to break out of them eventually. I could sleep all the time. I’m so lazy I guess or depressed? I sleep like a cat would. So without sleep for me would mean always being too awake in this treacherous world! If I miss sleep at night like have only 5 hours sleep, I get really wacky and can’t think, it’s like I did drugs or something.

  10. Caffeine said,

    Sleep is a waste of time and everyone knows it. I love sleep but even I know that you could do so much more with the 8 hours that you waste on sleep.
    All humans except ones with sleeping dissorders spend 1/3 of their lives in sleep. So lets say that if your 85, then that means that you spend 28.3 years of your life in constant sleep. 28.3 years of accomplishing nothing.
    No one is around on this planet forever, so you should be able to make the most of the time you have and be productive towards your own goals. But if your sleeping you cant do that….

    • hasdu said,

      umm i wonder how muh caffeine has slept and what he/she accomplished with their life….wait am i talking to einstein? dont think so ….jkjk dont mean to be so hateful……..

    • Sophi said,

      I agree heartily. I wish to shake Caffeine’s hand.

  11. i have better things to do than sleep said,

    I agree with Caffeine. I hate sleeping, I can spend that time doing something. Like homework. Lol, but really, I don’t sleep a lot. Much to the opposite of what my ‘rents want.

  12. glen said,

    I worked out after years of lucid dreaming that when i have them i am not really sleeping, many years ago i was in a lucid dream and i could think about the way i breath then a few months ago i was in a lucid dream when i got a phone call and i could listen to it ring as i was in a lucid dream i could make up my mind to bring myself out of of dreaming or just keep on dreaming,.. i did wake up and it felt like i was not sleeping but my mind could keep on dreaming with out sleep.

    • Phill said,

      Yea, thats happened to me before, like my alarm clock will blend into my dream so ill be looking for the alarm in my dream but its not in my dream, or a phonecall, ill be looking for my phone ringing but ill never find it

  13. Walter said,

    There is a book – The Sleep Instinct – by Ray Meddis (available through Google Books) which examines ordinary people who need very little or no sleep. His conclusion is that we ‘need’ sleep the way bears need to hibernate, but that we do not need it in the same way that we need to eat.

  14. Slump. said,

    The term “Ill sleep when I die” pops into head lol

  15. Doru said,

    Please read The Advanced Alien Specie Assay located at the bottom of the web page at
    RecipeForaNation.Wordpress.com

  16. up all night, whole crews' in here said,

    I figure later on down the road, we will be able to either conciously or unconciously manage the internal tasks we accomplish from sleep. sleep seems to me as nothing more than recouperation. as we become more in control of our brains we will learn to manually do the things our body does naturally. we may be doing it subconciously but we control none the less. i can imagine, as an example, that maybe one day we will be able to control pain and the individual synapsis recievers in our brains, thus making painkillers and drugs obsolete.

  17. Auping said,

    I disagree with Caffeine. Those 28,3 years is necessary to make those 56,7 years ‘accomplishing’.

  18. Very good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this site.
    Continue the good work!


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