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I have always wondered, if dolphins sleep with one eye opened, do they really sleep at all?
According to this article dolphins indeed shut down their brains.

I already googled it. No help from wikipedia or other articles and publications found.

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  • $\begingroup$ Of course we should note that our brain does not "shut down" (whatever that means) when we sleep. $\endgroup$ – nico Mar 23 '13 at 8:52
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I'd say that unihemispheric sleep and adaptations like it really are sleep - the brain activity on one side of the brain gives a characteristic sleep pattern. It certainly must satisfy the needs of an aquatic mammal like a dolphin or a whale since they have to be partially conscious to breathe by surfacing regularly.

It does seem to affect the brain physiology, but is there a reason you would not call it sleep?

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I suppose that it depends on how sleep is defined. If we define it a a mechanism by which the brain repairs itself in an altered state, then, yes they do indeed sleep. Just not with all of their brain at once.

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