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Plants may need to sleep, just like we do

Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2017 | Comment icon 6 comments

Sleep may occur, not just in animals, but in plants as well. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Mark Sebastian
A new study has suggested that sleep may actually be fundamental to all life, not just to animals.
Scientists in the US have discovered the first evidence of sleep occurring in an organism that doesn't even have a brain - a strong indication that plants, too, many need to take a nap now and again.

The creature in question, a type of primitive jellyfish that spends its entire existence floating upside-down on the bottom of the sea while pulsing every now and again, was found to engage in periods of relative inactivity where the number of pulses decreased from 59 to 38 times a minute.

"It may not seem surprising that jellyfish sleep - after all, mammals sleep, and other invertebrates such as worms and fruit flies sleep," said study co-leader Ravi Nath.

"But jellyfish are the most evolutionarily ancient animals known to sleep."

The findings suggest that there is still much to learn about the role of sleep in nature.

"When humans sleep, we are inactive, we often can sleep through noises or other disturbances which we might otherwise react to if we were awake, and we're likely to fall asleep during the day if we don't get enough sleep," said researcher Claire Bedbrook.

"We might seem extremely different from jellyfish, but we both exhibit a similar sleep state."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (6)

Tags: Sleep

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hammerclaw on 21 September, 2017, 19:33
Watching a mimosa slowly closing it's leaves at night makes one think it's going to sleep.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Nnicolette on 22 September, 2017, 0:16
I agree many plants seem to have noticeable sleep cycles but I'm not sure I would call a jellyfish a plant...
Comment icon #3 Posted by XenoFish on 22 September, 2017, 1:13
Should I worry if my plants start snoring?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 22 September, 2017, 11:26
In dark period for plants ( maybe not all but those with fruits, majority )it is important that no light gets to the plant, even brightmoon light can distrupt flowering of some plants. I work a lot in my garden and it is very easy to notice changes to plants after night. Either fruits get bigger or leaves change positions but there is surely one big and complex 'mechanism' behind it. Is it conscious mind that plants have or their whole life is imprinted and carried out on stages, that's a big question. I like to believe that plants are alive as much as we are
Comment icon #5 Posted by dlh on 22 September, 2017, 12:39
I didn't know jellyfish were considered 'plants'.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Nostrodumbass on 23 September, 2017, 7:41
I bet coffee bean plants don't catch a wink.

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