General Question

nebule's avatar

How exactly do we manage to fall asleep?

Asked by nebule (16446points) July 2nd, 2009

I’d like a scientific perspective if possible? Like it simply a gradual relaxation of ,muscles and nerves to the point where the consciousness switches off? Or….not and something completely different…

Also: (might be a separate question but…) what’s the difference between sleeping and being under general anaesthetic?

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7 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I am not a scientist, but I recently read about research on how the warming of our extremeties beyond our core helps us to fall asleep. It makes sense to me, because it is very hard for me to fall asleep if my feet are cold. But, I guess you are looking for what happens in the brain.

It will be interesting to see what other information comes from your question.

nebule's avatar

@JLeslie thanks…me too! x

sanari's avatar

This might help with your research: I fall asleep easily – I just think about it and I’m gone. No need for special comfort, I can sleep sitting straight up if need be.

watdat's avatar

you can read this

i bet you can fall asleep in minutes

marinelife's avatar

Here is a pretty clear explanation, excerpted below:

“Prolonged increased neural activity in the brain’s arousal centers triggers the release of adenosine, which in turn slows down neural activity in the arousal center areas. Because the arousal centers control activity throughout the entire brain, the process expands outward and causes neural activity to slow down everywhere in the brain.”

From the journal “Neuron.”

nebule's avatar

Thanks Marina x

Garebo's avatar

Usually I wake up when someone is trying to dissect or punch me, not always though.
I think you answered your question. Its that scary sleep that is between consciousness and sleep that I feel, when I am half cognizant that I am falling asleep; its like a feeling of being pulled and sometimes I do my best to fight it. I have learned to harness it to some degree. This weird state of consciousness, I suspect is when the brain wave pattern is in some transitional wave state-alpha, beta delta, tic tact toe, you know.

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