Compared to other primates human sleep is exceptionally short and deep. This pattern may have helped give rise to our powerful minds.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Sleep!
Amy Adkins TED Ed talk on Why Do We Dream:
NYT article on human sleep being short and deep: http://nytimes.com/2015/12/22/science/down-from-the-trees-humans...
100+ Reddit comments: https://reddit.com/r/science/comment...
Strange how sleep is such a common event yet we know so little about it.
It definitely has had a major influence on our physiology but is our deep sleeping patterns a result or a cause of our powerful brains?
I listened to great radio lab podcast on sleep where a researcher talked about a sleep study with mice where they were able to track the electrical impulses of a mice brain running through a maze to a high degree of accuracy (mouse is turning left here, then right, etc)
And they found that when the mouse was in REM sleep he would run different routes in his dreams as if to try to figure what the best route through the maze was.
So I think deep sleeping was a cause of our powerful brains over time.
Great episode of Radio Lab!
Here's the link if anyone wants to listen: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91528-sleep/