Sleep is a widespread biological phenomenon, and its scientific study is proceeding at multiple levels at the same time. Marked progress is being made in answering three fundamental questions: what is sleep, what are its mechanisms and what are its functions? The most salient answers to these questions have resulted from applying new techniques from basic and applied neuroscience research. The study of sleep is also shedding light on our understanding of consciousness, which undergoes alteration in parallel with sleep-induced changes in the brain.
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Hobson, J. Sleep is of the brain, by the brain and for the brain. Nature 437, 1254–1256 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04283
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