A dog snoring away the afternoon on the living room floor. Walruses snoozing belly-up on a beach. Lions sprawled out on the Serengeti. A hippo dozing on a mudbank. These slumberous scenes may make folks wonder why these other mammals seem to be getting so much more sleep than humans. Do they actually need more sleep? Are they just sleeping because they can? Should humans be sleeping more, too?Be prepared for a surprising and fascinating answer to these questions: Nobody knows.Related: Can any animal survive without sleep?Though constantly studied, sleep is one of the great mysteries modern science hasn’t completely cracked. “We really don’t know what sleep is for,” Dr. David Raizen, associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, told Live Science.Raizen said scientists have identified relationships between sleep and animal function — certain kinds of sleep can increase a critter’s ability to fight off illness or consolidate memories. Yet these associations don’t necessarily describe the ultimate purpose of sleep and can be misleading.”A brown bat that sleeps 20 hours a day you’d think would be a genius,” Raizen said, speaking to the idea that sleep is meant to serve learning and memory. Likewise, a 2017… Read full this story
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