2
$\begingroup$

Can we sleep throughout our whole life if we are supplied the necessary things like food,water etc.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. We work differently to most SE sites, where we have a strict policy that all questions should show evidence of prior research. Please help us to help you and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read on this subject, what made you ask this question, and any problems you are having understanding your research. If you found nothing, what did you Google? This helps to provide an answer which will be more helpful. $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Sep 1 at 11:10
4
$\begingroup$

Q: Is there any Sleep limit for a human body? Can we sleep throughout our whole life if we are supplied the necessary things like food,water etc.

A: Yes, there is a sleep limit for human (and other animals that sleep). And, no, we can’t sleep throughout our whole life even if all our metabolic requirements are supported. This is because sleep does not occur freely without any control but is under control of a complex neural network. This network limits how long one can sleep or be awake. It also regulates the time when sleep is to begin and to end. (Ref 1 - 4)

Sleep occurs alternately with wake in cycles, called sleep-wake cycle. These cycles are under control of a complex network of neural circuits in the brainstem, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, basal forebrain, and thalamus (see figure below).

enter image description here

(The figure is from Figure 2, Ref 1.)

And the periodicity of the cycles are controlled by circadian rhythm pacemaker in suprachiasmatic nucleus, internal homeostasis, and ambient light. (see figure below)

enter image description here

(This figure is from Figure 3, Ref 1)

In human and animals that sleep, this cycle is about 24 hours, with the mean duration of sleep (in human) of about 7.5 hours (with a standard deviation of about 1.25 hours) (Ref 2.). So, normally we sleep about 7.5 hours and then are set to be awake by these neural mechanisms. Because sleep is under control of these neural circuits, we cannot just fall asleep whenever we want and cannot sleep as many hours as we would like.

References:

  1. Larson-Prior, Linda & Ju, Yo-El & Galvin, James. (2014). Cortical–Subcortical Interactions in Hypersomnia Disorders: Mechanisms Underlying Cognitive and Behavioral Aspects of the Sleep–Wake Cycle. Frontiers in neurology. 5. 165. 10.3389/fneur.2014.00165.

  2. Purves D. Chapter 27 Sleep and Wakefulness. Purves D, Augustine GJ, David Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, Lamantia AS,‎ McNamara JO, Williams SM, editors. Neuroscience. 3rd ed. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates Inc; 2004. ISBN-13: 9780878937257 ISBN-10: 0878937250. p659-686.

  3. Moore RY. Clinical Update - Circadian Rhythms, Hypothalamus, and Regulation of the Sleep-Wake Cycle. Medscape. 2019 Sep 1.

  4. Wikipedia. Sleep

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.