According to a new research, a 45 minute short sleep can have extraordinary benefits for memory.
The next time you take a quick snooze or a power nap, you will significantly improve your memory. A new research has found that sleeping for just 45 minutes can boost memory by an incredible five times. The study was carried out by scientists from Saarland University, in Germany. The team found that short periods of sleep can help people remember better the information they have learned. Quick naps can also improve recall.
The team of German experts split a large group of volunteers into two smaller groups and made each to learn and remember 90 single words and 120 unconnected word pairs. One example of such pair si ‘milk taxi’. Then, the scientists asked one group to sleep, while the other watched a DVD.
The groups were tested afterwards on the words they were told. The results showed that those who slept remembered more word pairs.
The findings of the new research have been published in journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Scientists believe that sleep spindles, which are bursts of brain activity during sleep, can play a very important role in reinforcing newly learned information.
According to German professor Axel Mecklinger, a nap of just three quarters of an hour to an hour is providing a five-fold memory boost.
“The memory performance of the participants who had a power nap was just as good as it was before sleeping, when they have completed the learning phase. Memory conduct did not improve in the nap group, but it did remained constant. While in the other group it decreased by almost five times from the level of immediately after the learning phase,” he said.
The researcher believes that a quick nap at the office or in school is sufficient to significantly improve learning success.
He thinks that the positive effects of sleep should be taken into account in a learning environment. “Enhancing information recall through sleeping does not require people to stuff large books under their pillow. Instead, all that is needed after a concentrated period of learning is a short relaxing sleep”, professor Mecklinger added.
Scientists focused their attention on the role of the hippocampus, which is the zone of the brain where memories are “reinforced” and short-term information is being transformed into long-term memory storage.
Image Source: Reuters