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Sleep is important for our body and "soul". We do not yet know exactly why we have to sleep. But there is no question that sleeping is useful. Those who cannot sleep at all or who are forcibly prevented from sleeping become ill and can die. During the day, our brain in particular is flooded with lots of different things. Sleep is the time to recharge your batteries, sort everything and store important memories in your mind. Some bodily functions continue to run even while sleeping: breathing, heartbeat, digestion and others.
There are two types of sleep that alternate several times during the night: deep sleep and REM sleep. Blood pressure and body temperature drop during deep sleep. Sometimes the muscles move. Then we turn around in our sleep. Our brain is active during REM sleep. The eyes move back and forth quickly. REM is the abbreviation for rapid eye movement. During REM sleep, the body becomes almost stiff. For some people, this doesn't happen, and they can sleepwalk.
Our dreams also come in REM sleep. In the dream the brain sorts different images, sounds and feelings. One can see something in a dream without really seeing, hear something without really hearing, or run without really running. Only in this part of sleep do these noticeable and rapid eye movements occur.
Children usually sleep longer than adults. A newborn sleeps up to 18 hours a day. Most animals also need to sleep. In some animal species, only one half of the brain sleeps. Only one eye is closed so that the surroundings can still be perceived. Animals such as horses can sleep standing up because their brains do this too, so that if they're scared, they can quickly wake and run away.
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