• Question: does your brain work when your asleep ?

    Asked by sade to Alison, Helen, Matt, Miranda on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Miranda Armstrong

      Miranda Armstrong answered on 2 Jul 2012:


      Hi Sade. Yes, our brains actually do work when we are asleep. If you think about it, you need to still be able to breath while you are asleep. Part of your brain called the respiratory centre (which is in the lower part of the brain stem) is the area of your brain that makes sure that you stay breathing even while you’re asleep. That is just one example of many things that your brain does while you are asleep.

    • Photo: Alison Atkin

      Alison Atkin answered on 3 Jul 2012:


      Hi Sade. Miranda is spot on – our brains definitely work when we’re asleep. As well as controlling all of our usual functions like keeping us breathing, making our hearts pump, and all of those other things. But, our brains also use the time when we’re asleep to process all of the things we have done in a day – sorting through it all and filing away what we need to keep as memories. It also does some other things, like while we’re dreaming… but I’m not 100% sure what dreams are for – what do you think?

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