Navigation Links
Sleep Might Help You Solve Problems Better
Date:6/7/2011

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Got a big decision to make and thinking about sleeping on it?

A new study suggests that might be a good idea; it found that people did a better job of learning a game when they got some shut-eye afterward.

The research doesn't prove that sleep will help you learn more effectively. But it does provide more evidence that your brain doesn't just rest and dream when you're asleep, said study co-author Rebecca Spencer, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The brain appears to also be reviewing the day's events and processing them, she said. "You put the movie in and you replay it. This says sleep is really adding something, that we shouldn't go with our gut instinct. We should sleep on it," she said.

It may seem obvious that people would perform a task better after getting some sleep. But Spencer said the new study is unique because it looks at people who had a brief chance to learn something and then either slept or stayed awake.

Other sleep research has focused on memory and on what happens when people don't get enough sleep. "Everything falls to pieces when you've been sleep-deprived," she said.

In the study, researchers assigned 54 college students (aged 18-23) to one of two groups. One learned a gambling game in the morning, while the other learned it in the evening, although no one was allowed to learn the trick to beating the game. Then they came back 12 hours later to play the game.

Those who had a chance to get a full night's sleep after learning the game did a better job of figuring out the trick to it. Eighty percent of those who slept figured out the trick to the game, while 40 percent of those who stayed awake did, Spencer said.

The researchers assigned the game to other groups of students and found that the time of day when they played it didn't affect their performance, boosting the case that sleep was a crucial factor for the first two groups.

What's going on? The brain appears to process what it's learned during sleep, Spencer said. "It's filing it away. And when you file things, you're not just putting them in the file drawer. You're putting them in a real organized fashion, you're filing it next to things."

Sleep researcher Michael P. Stryker, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco, said the study does have an important limitation: "Is the difference really a gain in performance after sleep because of some kind of 'insight' or 'problem-solving' that happens during sleep, or is it that being awake for 12 hours makes you less able to perform the task?"

Sleep researcher Michael Anch, an associate professor at Saint Louis University, said the study "emphasizes the growing awareness of the importance of sleep for optimal cognitive functioning."

"This study is consistent with other studies suggesting that sleep allows you to integrate learned information from various brain regions, which is not allowable by instant decisions," Anch said. "This gives credence to the notion that if you have a decision to make, sleep on it!"

The study appears in the current online issue of the Journal of Sleep Research.

More information

For more about sleep, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Rebecca M.C. Spencer, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Michael Anch, Ph.D., associate professor, psychology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.; Michael P. Stryker, Ph.D., professor, physiology, University of California at San Francisco; Journal of Sleep Research, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Kids May Have Genetic Cause
2. Sleep HealthCenters to Sponsor North East Sleep Society 2010
3. America's Hidden Pandemic: 100 Million Suffer From Sleep Problems
4. Solutions for Sleep Problems: Harvard's Improving Sleep Special Health Report and New Sleep Apnea Video
5. Behavioral therapy improves sleep and lives of patients with pain
6. Sleep problems and sleepiness increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents in adolescents
7. Severe sleep apnea decreases frequency of nightmare recall
8. Severe Sleep Apnea Has Silver Lining
9. The role of sleep in brain development
10. Sleep More, Lose Weight – Sleeplessness Linked to Obesity
11. National Sleep Awareness Week(R) (March 7-13): How Are You Sleeping?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Sleep Might Help You Solve Problems Better
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect ... videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort ... holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain ... Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, ... and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their ... to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 According to a new ... Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, ... Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global ... the market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: