Taking a nap in the classroom may not be a bad idea after all,
with new research suggesting that sleeping shortly after you learn
new material is the best way for it to stay fixed in the
mind.


Jessica Payne, lead author of the study and a psychologist at the
University of Notre Dame in Indiana, found that sleeping sends
signals to the brain that the information just learnt needs
retaining. Along with her colleagues at the university, Ms Payne
studied 207 students with good sleep patterns to gather the
results.


The team carried out tests at strategic 12 hour intervals with
sleep placed in between. They found that memory was superior after
the subjects had slept overnight. Additionally, in the 24-hour
retest after the subjects received both a full night of sleep and a
full day of wakefulness, they found that memories were more active
when sleep occurred shortly after learning.


Ms Payne commented: "Our study confirms that sleeping directly
after learning something new is beneficial for memory. What's novel
about this study is that we tried to shine light on sleep's
influence on both types of declarative memory by studying
semantically unrelated and related word pairs."


Posted by Elizabeth MewesADNFCR-1744-ID-801327266-ADNFCR