Evolutionary explanations for Sleep

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  • Created by: Grace
  • Created on: 11-01-13 17:53
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  • Evolutionary explanations for Sleep
    • Predation theory developed by Meddis.
      • In the past at night time we were in great danger as we had poor night vision so likely to harm ourselves and wide open to predators. Sleep has given us an advantage and kept us alive..
        • Support - babies sleep for 16 hours because they are vulnerable and then we sleep less and less as we get older as we become less vulnerable.
        • Would expect species most at risk to sleep longer and vice versa but usually the opposite case. Big cats sleep for 20 hours a day - why do they if they will not be harmed?
          • Suggests there must be another reason as to why we sleep or big cats would not be sleeping at all. THEREFORE   ------>
    • Energy Conservation developed by Webb.
      • Mechanisms have evolved to force animals to go to sleep when it would be insufficient for us to be awake especially when food is scarce.
        • Research shows that when asleep our energy metabolism decreases for example temperature and calorie demand - supports that sleep helps conserve energy resources.
        • Lacks temporal validity - we no longer can sleep just because we can - lifestyle now means we have to stay awake longer.
    • Explains nature side of the debate but needs to conside nurture . For example behaviourists would argue that we sleep at night because we are socialised into doing so not because we are in fear of danger.
    • Lacks temporal validity - we no longer need to sleep at night in case of attack as we have houses that protect us - suggests the behavioural approach is more up to date.
      • Explains nature side of the debate but needs to conside nurture . For example behaviourists would argue that we sleep at night because we are socialised into doing so not because we are in fear of danger.
    • Need to look at restoration theories to make sense of what evolution does not like why we have such a strong drive for sleep and what happens to us when we do not sleep. When they are linked together = more holistic.

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