Why Do We Sleep (TED Talks)

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a raft = (informal) a large number or amount of something

It’s fashionable at the moment because what’s been shown is that within the brain, a whole raft of genes have been shown to be turned on only during sleep, and those genes are associated with restoration and metabolic pathways.

to pan out = (of events or a situation) to develop in a particular way

Now, when you do the sums, though, it doesn’t really pan out.

meagre = small in quantity and poor in quality

Now, I would say that a hot dog bun is kind of a meager return for such a complicated and demanding behavior as sleep.

to attenuate = to make something weaker or less effective

What we know is that, if after you’ve tried to learn a task, and you sleep-deprive individuals, the ability to learn that task is smashed. It’s really hugely attenuated.

to liken = to compare one thing or person to another and say they are similar

I think that sleep was once likened to an upgrade from economy to business class.

vigilance = great care that is taken to notice any signs of danger or trouble

100,000 accidents on the freeway have been associated with tiredness, loss of vigilance, and falling asleep.

to impair = to damage something or make something worse

So there’s a whole raft of things associated with sleep loss that are more than just a mildly impaired brain,which is where I think most people think that sleep loss resides.

haven = a place that io influence someone so that they are likely to think or behave in a particular ways safe and peaceful where people or animals are protected

Make your bedroom a haven for sleep.

to predispose = to influence somebody so that they are likely to think or behave in a particular way

The neural networks that predispose you to normal sleep, give you normal sleep, and those that give you normal mental health, are overlapping.



  1. Have you ever regarded sleep as a complete waste of time?
  2. «Biological clock tells us when it’s good to be up, when it’s good to be asleep». Do you listen to your biological clock?
  3. What are the reasons why we need sleep?
  4. People used to sleep 8 hours in average in the past, why has this number changed? Why do we sleep less?
  5. What is micro-sleep? Have you ever fallen asleep unexpectedly? Why might micro-sleep be dangerous?
  6. What are negative effects of a lack of sleep? Have you ever felt that your performance was impaired for that reason?
  7. «Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise». To what extent do you agree?



Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.

Thomas Dekker

If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.

Henny Youngman

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?

Ernest Hemingway