Long Winter's Nap

Grab forty winks. Sawing logs. For a species that’s habitually short on shut-eye, humans sure have come up with myriad ways to talk about it.

We also spend a lot of time and money studying sleep, or the lack thereof. Yet, in spite of decades of inquiry, researchers are only recently beginning to understand why people, along with just about every other living creature, need to nod off. We’ve had better luck researching the unconscious states nonhuman species employ to deal with hard times. Winter, for example, poses a critical challenge for animals who stay put rather than migrate to warmer…

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