The Mystery of Sleep

I’ve thought about it frequently. What happens? Where do we go? What are we doing?

Some people do it a lot; others a little, but everyone does it. Sleep. We all sleep. But what is sleep?

I’ve never slept a lot, and when I was in Bible school, I was selected to go from room to room in the dormitory to wake the girls every morning. I wasn’t always popular as you can well imagine.

In my childhood, I walked in my sleep, strolled around the house, and checked out things. Sometimes I would wake up, feel a little silly and find my way back to bed. Never went out of the house, or anything like that. Funny thing is the second night Jerry and I were married, I climbed out of bed and sauntered around a bit.

Jerry saw me. “Shirley, come over here and sit down.” He patted the side of the bed. I obediently walked where he indicated and sat down on the edge of the bed.

“Hmm…what’s this I married?” I believe he muttered.

I also talked in my sleep when I was young, but I have lost both skills–I no longer walk or talk in my sleep. But I’ve taken up another habit so that I’m not totally bored when I sleep: I snore. Well, at least that’s what Jerry says, but I’m not sure I can always believe him on that subject. πŸ™‚ One more thing you need to know. I taught my children to walk and talk in their sleep. Not all of them and I’m not sure any one was as skilled in this field as I. One of the boys–can’t remember which one–walked one night to the kitchen, obviously asleep, and lifted the lid to the wastebasket, apparently thinking he was in the bathroom.

So, with such a background, I was intrigued this morning to find this study. Take a look.

(CBS) Human beings spend on average one third of their lives asleep. We know we need to sleep but most of us have never really given a whole lot of thought to why.

Why do we spend seven or eight hours a night immobile and unconscious? What really happens inside our brains and bodies while we’re sleeping?

We’ve known the purpose of our other biological drives for hundreds of years: we eat to give our bodies energy, we drink to keep hydrated, we procreate to perpetuate the species – among other things. But what is the biological purpose of sleep?

The entire extremely interesting article is here.

Any of you walk or talk in your sleep? Snore?

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My devotional blog is here.

14 thoughts on “The Mystery of Sleep

  1. Rebecca Juarez

    Thanks, Rochelle. That explains a lot. I usually get seven or eight hours of sleep, so by the time I awaken, I guess my dreams are long gone.

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  2. This is a comment in response to Rebecca. Actually when you are in deep sleep (REM sleep) that can’t really see the difference in brain activity. Our minds are very active and dreaming. If you don’t recall your dreams, that is actually a good thing! That means you are going through through the proper cycles of sleep stages. We dream in REM sleep but we don’t typically wake up straight out of REM sleep. The reason why people remember nightmares is because they awaken out of that deep (REM) sleep. If people typically remember their dreams then that usually means they are not getting enough sleep to go through all the stages of sleep! See… I really do enjoy this stuff!

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  3. Rebecca Juarez

    I’ve often wondered why this marvelously and miraculously constructed body needs such a long time to recharge, so to speak. Like Rochelle, I love to sleep. It’s like free time was in grade school: I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I’ve read that we all dream multiple dreams every night, but if that’s the case, I rarely remember any of my dreams.

    Hey, Rebecca. Glad you’re alive and kicking! (Well, I guess you’re kicking…can’t quite see that far. I seldom remember dreams.

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  4. I am fascinated with sleep too. Truly I am. Not only do I LOVE to sleep, I love to study about sleep. Weird, I know. I really enjoy studying the way He made us!! I don’t snore unless I’m super tired (or so I’m told). I don’t talk in my sleep (that I know of). I have issues with nightmares and bad dreams from time to time though, and when that happens I don’t sleep well. Actually, it is pretty rare that I sleep well. I suppose that is why I when I get a good night’s sleep I enjoy it all the more!! Fun post!

    Sleep fascinates me, too. I just cannot understand what happens to the mind, and why the dreams–the nightmares, etc. Some philosophy is that during our dreams–and I suppose nightmares, too–we sort out problems, and come to conclusions. All very interesting, but a bit mysterious.

    I like to sleep only if I’m very tired and sleepy, detest lying in the bed wide awake, and love naps.

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  5. Cynde/MIA

    Sis. Shirley,
    It’s been tooo long since we’ve talked. I don’t have any family members that sleep walk, but
    I do have a husband, that talks in full sentences.
    And that’s in between holding his breath. Yes, that is a medical issue, but he doesn’t hear any
    of it, so it’s not an issue at all for him. We now have a new result, of this loss of sleep, when I
    caught a great “Kodak Moment” of him
    at his desk, sitting up, and completely ASLEEP.
    Greg also has a well hoaned talent for raising the
    roof with his throat releasing large quantities of
    air at very deep tones. Gotta love it..So very
    grateful I wear hearing aides and can turn him
    off….Lord Bless you and Bro. Buxton.
    We are hoping to be attending your 2nd Easter
    Service….
    Sis. Cynde

    Cynde, I love the MIA! Funny thing Jerry and I were talking only yesterday about it being a very long time since you have been our way. We’ll look forward to seeing you Sunday.

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  6. Luca

    I share and appreciate your thought.
    It’s important to make efforts to spend our time on Earth in the best ways, but just because of that we shouldn’t forget that, first of all, this one is our life, and we mustn’t forget it by excessively following a whatever conception. “Est modus in rebus” ancient Latin used to say; and “Life is what it is, not what it should be” as Lenny Bruce used to say.
    All the best for you, I’ve enjoyed exchanging opinions with a kind and open-minded person as you are.

    Likewise, Luca.

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  7. Esther

    No sleep walking for me. But, I have always had very vivid dreams. I could remember all the details. Not as much now as when I was younger. But, I even had a “dream” book where I wrote down my dreams in the mornings.
    My son Todd was a sleep walker. When he was between 4 and 8 he used to walk a lot. One morning I couldn’t find him and finally looked in the bathroom where he was sound asleep in the bathtub. Oh, and it was not the garbage pail for him, one night he pulled out the dinning room chair thinking he was in the toilet. What memories. Fun subject.

    Hi, Esther. You’re right–the dining room is worse than the kitchen in bathroom mixups. πŸ™‚

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  8. Sis. Buxton:
    As a child or teenager I did all of the above, walked, talked and PLEASE Pray for my wife I don’t just snore I shake the walls. The amount of sleep I get or need changes almost like the seasons. At times I need more than eight hours, other times four or five will do. More than once I have gotten up at two or three in the morning to type on a paper which is due for a college class. And when the going gets tough a fifteen minute nap and I am ready to go.
    I one of my Cultural studies we read and discussed a tribe of people in or on one of the island close to Australia. This tribe of people believes that the sleeping hours, dreams and walking are the REAL part of life. (?)

    Mervi

    Poor Virginia. Poor Jerry.

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  9. Part of what they were saying happens to me a lot–the part about how sleep helps your memory. Since I’m in Bible quizzing, I’ve found that if I memorize a verse or two, and then go to bed, that when I wake up in the morning it almost seems like the sleep I got refreshed my memory. Now as for the sleeptalking….I think my brother was a little better at that then me. πŸ™‚ I think I’ve walked in my sleep more than he has.
    Thanks for sharing, that was really interesting!

    Hi, Jen. Well it’s nice you and your brother share honors as far as sleep activities are concerned.

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  10. Luca

    Well, two years ago I found out about them by chance, and for some weeks I was really suggestioned. I mean, as soon as I was going to bed and turning the light off, I was always unintentionally starting the “procedures”. But I was never able to “exit”, even because I didn’t want to, as I was scared (I was 18yo and I was afraid, I didn’t know if I was ever going to return “normal”).
    Now luckily I’m fine, but something in me has changed from that day. I have gained an ability to realax my body, especially to “make my limbs to sleep” while my mind is not. I’m glad after all, I’ve explored some of my brain and gained new awareness of myself.
    P.s.
    In that time, as I said, I was never able to “exit”, but I awakened my mind twice while “I was out”, and I could see around me for some seconds and feel the sensation of coming back. It was absolutely amazing, completely different from a simple dream (in that case your mind is sleeping too).
    I’ve never been looking for this stuff, I used to completely ignore them, and I still do it as the real life is this one, but I believe that human mind has a limitless potential.

    I hope my English was understandable πŸ™‚

    Luca, you do a great job with English. I understand everything you’re saying, I believe.

    I think you are wise to be cautious in exploring your mind and extra-sensory perceptions. I agree that the mind is a marvelous thing and I don’t believe we fully understand it.

    It is a good thing to serve God, to read the Bible, and to follow its instructions and consider its warnings. Helps us to stay out of trouble.

    I wish you well with your life…and especially with your soul.

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  11. I’ve held whole conversations with my sister while she is sleeping. Pretty funny stuff actually :D….

    I told her, when we were young, that she best close her door when sleeping or everyone would know her secrets. πŸ˜‰

    Hey, Anna. There you are! I’ve missed you. That sleep talking and walking is strange stuff. Once I read it represents a little brain damage–but I think I reject that study. πŸ˜‰

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