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Are there evolutionary theories as to why we (and most animals) sleep?

Some claimed functions of sleep include: restoration, waste clearance, memory processing, etc. But unless we understand why these functions are necessary (in the sense that the cost outweigh the benefits in terms of evolutionary fitness) and why they cannot be accomplished awake, we won't have a clear evolutionary theory of sleep.

Are there current theories on the evolution of sleep?

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  • $\begingroup$ What work have you done on your own to answer this question? As it stands, it is quite broad, and would require a very substantive answer. While this is an interesting question, I am voting to close it until it is narrowed to focus on one particular topic, with background detailing what you do and do not specifically understand. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 2:09

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