Navigation Links
To Sleep, Perchance to Remember
Date:12/5/2008

Study links shut-eye to improved learning skills

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- College students who think all-night study sessions will help them remember facts might want to get some sleep instead. And not just because they'll be more rested when it's time for the test.

That's the message from a new study that finds that as you sleep, the mind consolidates the things you learn during the day.

Study participants who learned how to play a video game in the morning or evening did a better job the next day after a night's rest, apparently because their brains were actively absorbing what they'd learned as they slept.

The finding shows "that sleep is not just a passive state when no information is coming in," said study co-author Howard Nusbaum, a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. "It could be the case that people who are pulling all-nighters are not doing themselves a favor."

For the study, the researchers recruited 200 college students, most of them women. Most of them weren't very familiar with playing video games, so they were taught to play the games "Quake III" and "Unreal Tournament" -- so-called "first-person shooter" games that require players to attack enemies.

Some of the participants learned how to play the games in the morning, while others learned in the evening. The researchers then tested the subjects on the video games 12 hours later and 24 hours later.

Those who took part in the morning training sessions showed an average eight-percentage-point improvement in their performance immediately after training. They performed more poorly -- scoring four percentage points better -- 12 hours later. But they scored 10 percentage points better the next morning.

"If we train you in the morning and come back at the end of the day, you forget some of what you learned," Nusbaum said. "But if you sleep after that, it restores some of what you learned."

The students who took part in the evening training sessions performed better the next morning after sleeping, than they did after being trained.

The study findings were published in the current issue of the journal Learning & Memory.

Nusbaum believes that people encounter "lots of interference" during the course of a day, and "you forget some of what you've learned." But researchers don't yet know what causes the interference.

The role that dreams play in the learning process -- if any -- isn't clear either. But some dreams could serve as a kind of practice for the brain, Nusbaum said.

"If you play a video game a lot, and you're playing in your dreams, maybe that could help you learn," he said.

Jerry Siegel, professor at the Center for Sleep Research at the University of Calfornia, Los Angeles, said going without sleep hurts performance, but he's not convinced that sleep itself actively contributes to learning.

"If you take a break for a few hours, it can easily be shown that learning did occur, because performance is better at the start of a new learning session than it was at the end of the initial session," he said. "No sleep needs to occur for this to happen."

Still, Siegel, who reviewed the new study, suggested that sleep before learning a skill is crucial.

"For long-term retention, it is more important to be well rested and therefore attentive when you are doing the learning than afterwards," he said. "It is even better if you don't have to choose and get your natural amounts of sleep every day."

More information

Get basic information about sleep from the University of Washington.



SOURCES: Howard Nusbaum, Ph.D., professor of psychology, University of Chicago; Jerry Siegel, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, Center for Sleep Research, University of California, Los Angeles; November 2008, Learning & Memory


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Poor Sleep, Hypertension a Dangerous Combination
2. Loss of sleep, even for a single night, increases inflammation in the body
3. Findings on bladder-brain link may point to better treatments for problems in sleep, attention
4. Sleep, baby, sleep: parents behavior has direct impact on children’s slumber
5. Interferon needed for cells to remember how to defeat a virus, UT Southwestern researchers report
6. Remember to Send Holiday Mail For Heroes and Thank a Service Member this Thanksgiving
7. Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Remembers, Celebrates the Life of Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll During Capitol Tribute
8. Impulsive eater? Remembering failures may help curb eating
9. Arizona Heart Institute Remembers Heart Surgery Pioneer Dr. Michael E. DeBakey
10. Remember West Nile Virus Safety This Fourth of July
11. Alzheimers Foundation of America Quilt Remembers Moms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... assistance and financial planning services to communities in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, ... to offer assistance to underprivileged youth in Chicago. , Founded in 1897, Hephzibah ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... ... Branches, Inc. has been partnering with The Miami Foundation for over 9 ... focused on providing opportunity to low-income families and breaking the cycle of generational poverty. ... to support its , Climb to College & Career initiative which focuses on postsecondary ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Children’s ... American Heart Association (AHA) to launch a Rheumatic Heart Disease Center, with the ... diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in high-risk, financially disadvantaged countries and low-income ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... A June 12 article in The Star ... apparent lack of oral hygiene by an aged parent who had recently suffered a ... a number of steps, including scheduling a dentist visit. Northridge Dental Works, a Los ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... announces recipients of its annual “UBBIE” Awards (pronounced you-bee) for 2017. The ... significant achievements toward their involvement with UBA, the clients they serve, and the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/14/2017)... HAMPTON, Va. , June 14, 2017  ivWatch ... safety and effectiveness of intravenous (IV) therapy, is pleased ... in the category of Nonsurgical Hospital Supplies and Equipment ... premier awards program for the medtech industry. The award ... at the Jacob K. Javits Center in ...
(Date:6/11/2017)... , June 10, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... from three Phase 3 studies of galcanezumab, an investigational ... including late-breaking data on several key secondary endpoints for ... results from these studies (EVOLVE-1, EVOLVE-2 and REGAIN) will ... annual scientific meeting in Boston . ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... 2017   Responding to Heath Ledger,s father,s ... of singer Chris Cornell in May, the mental ... a free online psychiatric drug side effects ... about psychotropic drug risks. The father of ... an accidental overdose, has called for tighter rules on prescription ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: