Proper sleep improves memory

By: Emily Lunardo | Health News | Monday, January 04, 2016 - 11:30 AM

Woman sleepingIf you want better memory then you should work on getting proper sleep as research has shown that a good nights rest can lead to improved memory. For the study researchers showed 20 photos of faces along with matching names to 14 volunteers who were in their 20s.

Two tests were conducted – first with volunteers sleeping for eight hours and another after a regular day of activities in between. The researchers found that after sleep volunteers correctly matched 12 names and faces. Additionally, length of sleep did not affect memory recall but further research needs to be conducted to confirm such results.

Corresponding author Jeanne Duffy said, “We know that many different kinds of memories are improved with sleep. While a couple of studies have looked at how naps might affect our ability to learn new faces and names, no previous studies have looked at the impact of a full night of sleep in between learning and being tested.”

“We found that when participants were given the opportunity to have a full night’s sleep, their ability to correctly identify the name associated with a face — and their confidence in their answers — significantly improved,” Duffy added.

The research suggests sleeping after learning new things could help remember them more so than just partaking in regular activities. And although the study looked at younger adults the researchers believe the findings could be similar in older adults as well.

“Sleep is important for learning new information. As people get older, they are more likely to develop sleep disruptions and sleep disorders, which may in turn cause memory issues. By addressing issues with sleep, we may be able to affect people’s ability to learn things at all different ages,” concluded Duffy.


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Sources:

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/about_bwh/publicaffairs/news/pressreleases/PressRelease.aspx?PageID=2215

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