For something so simple and so universal, sleep has long baffled scientists. We still don't really know why virtually every higher-order animal spends about a third of their day curled up with their eyes closed instead of doing something more productive, like hunting or running an Etsy shop. But researchers have recently discovered that sleep is necessary for the brain to perform an essential task: forgetting everything it learned during the day that it doesn't need to remember for tomorrow.
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Written by Reuben Westmaas March 30, 2017
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