Tuesday 26 February 2013

Sleeping shortly after learning something is the best way to remember it later: Study

Written by Anil Singh

A new study has shown that going to sleep shortly after learning new material is the best way to remember it.

According to the lead author Jessica Payne, a psychologist at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, going to a sleep after learning something new is like ‘telling’ the sleeping brain what to retain.

How the Study was conducted:

The researchers studied 207 students who habitually slept for at least six hours per night.

Participants were randomly assigned to study declarative, semantically related or unrelated word pairs at 9am or 9pm, and returned for testing 30 minutes, 12 hours or 24 hours later.

NOTE: Declarative memory (sometimes referred to as explicit memory) is one of two types of long term human memory. It refers to memories which can be consciously recalled such as facts and knowledge. Its counterpart is known as non-declarative or Procedural memory, which refers to unconscious memories such as skills (e.g. learning to ride a bicycle). Declarative memory can be divided into two categories: episodic memory which stores specific personal experiences and semantic memory which stores factual information.

People routinely use both declarative and semantic memory in everyday life.

The study found that, overall memory was superior following a night of sleep compared to a day of wakefulness.


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