Sleep in animals: a state of adaptive inactivity

TitleSleep in animals: a state of adaptive inactivity
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSiegel J.M.
Book TitlePrinciples and Practice of Sleep Medicine
PublisherElsevier Saunders
CitySt. Louis, Missouri
ISBN Number978-1-4160-6645-3

Sleep is not a maladaptive state that needs to be explained by undiscovered functions (which nevertheless undoubtedly exist). Rather, the major function of sleep is to increase behavioral efficiency. Greater waking activity does not necessarily lead to increased numbers of viable offspring and, hence, genetic success. Rather, genetic success is closely linked to the efficient use of resources and to the avoidance of risk. Thus, inactivity can reduce predation and injury. It also reduces brain and body energy consumption.