Brain Activity During Sleep
Although sleep appears to be a passive and restful time, it actually involves a highly active and well-scripted interplay of brain circuits, resulting in sleep’s various stages.
Illustration by Lydia V. Kibiuk, Baltimore, MD
The Sleep-Wakefulness Cycle
Why do we get sleepy? There are two main determining factors: the circadian system (time of day or night) and how long we have been awake.
Illustration by Lydia V. Kibiuk, Baltimore, MD; Devon Stuart, Harrisburg, PA
How Is Sleep Regulated?
What is the difference between sleep and wakefulness? Much of it depends on which brain systems are activated.
Schoenmann, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2010.
You likely spend more of your life sleeping than performing any other activity, but there’s so much we don’t know this basic function. Scientists continue to make discoveries about the role sleep plays in our ability to think, remember and act. To find out more about sleep and the brain, browse through the images and their descriptions and click on the link in each caption to read the full articles.
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About the Author
Michael W. Richardson
Michael W. Richardson is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York, covering topics ranging from the brain and behavior to the environment.