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What Happens While Your Brain Sleeps is Like How Computers Stay Sane (highscalability.com)
41 points by aespinoza on Dec 26, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments

Sleep also plays a part in synaptic conditioning -- it's when the brain prunes itself by separating signal from noise...

"Sleep researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health believe it is more evidence for their theory of 'synaptic homeostasis.' This is the idea that synapses grow stronger when we're awake as we learn and adapt to an ever-changing the environment, that sleep refreshes the brain by bringing synapses back to a lower level of strength. This is important because larger synapses consume a lot of energy, occupy more space and require more supplies, including the proteins examined in this study."

"Sleep — by allowing synaptic downscaling — saves energy, space and material, and clears away unnecessary 'noise' from the previous day, the researchers believe. The fresh brain is then ready to learn again in the morning" (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090402143455.ht...).

these two things are not comparable- computers tend to reboot due to 'cosmic rays', cruft left behind by poorly written applications, or, more commonly, nvidia drivers.

my brain goes down to sleep at night to commit and file my memories of the day, for area's to be selectively cleaned, for the brain and body in general to consume less energy and last longer/heal.

I can't hit a reboot button, it's not defrag- it's a complicated required process for living in a human skin.

Analogy, not identity.

You're right that brains don't need sleep because of nvidia drivers. But I think you can work a little harder to get the analogy.

Maybe your brain doesn't need sleep because of nvidia drivers, but please do not so easily dismiss those who do.

My brain needs sleep because of AMD/ATI drivers. It's been a decade and they still suck in linux.

Some of my dreams would take months of planning, the best modelers/animators in the world, million dollar render farms and even that would pale in comparison. But to play the boring computer analogy, I'd say all brains are on a virtual P2P network sharing centralized cloud storage (various permissions/ownership) and sleep would include customized patches from a master repo.

To be fair it's easier to fake reality when you have root access to the whole brain and don't need to interface through HDMI and GPU.

A simple and compelling reason to meditate is that it can function like a reboot button for your brain. Moreso, in my experience, than sleep.

Sorry, but 10-15 minutes of napping is nothing like what meditation can deliver, even at 3 to 5 times the time invested.

Sleep does so many positive things its hard to fully understand how great it is for us.

What are you sorry about? Nothing you've said directly or indirectly contradicts what I said as far as I can tell.

My point is that its incredibly inefficient and bringing it up in an article about sleep seems like typical New Age evangelism to me. While there are certainly some benefits to it, its nothing like taking a nap.

Anyone: How true is that?

Test it for yourself. Sit comortably but with good posture, close your eyes and bring your brain to a neutral place.

Let whatever thoughts pop up pop up, acknowledge them, then let them go and return to neutral.

I find that this practice makes my brain feel cleaner and less burdened, like when you turn to a child that had been saying "mommy, mommy, mommy..." and ask them what they need.

Basically inbox zero for your brain.

There are many other meditative practices and techniques but I use this one fairly often.

> Basically, inbox zero for your brain.

I'm now convinced. Going to try it right now.

What makes you think that your brain may not be 'poorly written' for supporting 24 hr+ uptime? Think of the brain has having bad garbage collection or a memory leak, so at some point in time you have too much built up memory that needs to either be dumped or written to disk.

>And you may have noticed now that your iPhone supports background processing it reboots a lot more often?

Are phones spontaneously rebooting?

Well, when you stretch a metaphore this far, you have to lie some.

mine does. usually while doing something like switching active apps when one is using the camera.

Sure. My older Android phone even wiped out data spontaneously (showing a message to me that it is doing so, without choice or warning).

I thought she meant that the background apps are constantly restarted - which they are.

Yes, but the nice thing about iOS 7 is that it reboots much faster.

Yup. :(

> Without access to spinal fluid or nicely chunked pieces of garbage like molecules

I would be really worried if I started clearing nicely chunked pieces of garbage like things in my sleep.

The whole article is flawed.

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