The relationship between sleep and memory

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It’s no surprise that a good night’s sleep will help you feel better. Sleep not only helps the body have time to rest and recharge but also plays an important role in the ability of the brain to learn and remember. While you sleep, even though your body is resting, your brain is constantly busy processing information during the day and forming memories. Without sleep, your body runs the risk of developing a number of serious problems, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, and your ability to learn and store new information may be impaired. This is not news for those who stay up all night until 2 am to cram knowledge for the test to memorize the data but forget it clean the next day. Without enough sleep, your brain will become blurred, your judgment will be poor and your motor skills will be hampered.

The power of sleep

Image and behavioral studies continue to show a key role sleep plays in learning and memory. Researchers believe that sleep affects learning and memory in two ways:

Lack of sleep impairs concentration and effective learning of a person.
A good night’s sleep is essential to boosting memory so that you can remember in the future

The relationship between sleep and memory
The relationship between sleep and memory

Create memories

Memories are divided into many different categories. Some memories are based on facts like memorizing the name of a country’s capital. Some are based on details that unfolded in your life, such as your first kiss. And some memories are procedures or instructions, such as how to ride a bike or play the piano.

For an event to become memory, the following three functions must occur, including:

  • Receptive – learn or experience new things
  • Consolidation – memory is steadily maintained in the brain
  • Flashback – possible future access to the domain of memories

Acquisition and recollection are functions that will take place while you are awake. However, researchers believe that sleep is necessary to consolidate memory, regardless of the form of memory. Without enough sleep, your brain has difficulty absorbing and recalling new information.

The relationship between sleep and memory
The relationship between sleep and memory

Sleep doesn’t just help sharpen your mind. Studies show that sleep also affects physical reflexes, motor skills, and judgment. Participants who lack sleep are more likely to think they are right when they are in fact wrong, one study found.

Studies related to memory tests show that after a night of sleep, or even a nap, people perform better, whether on test, in the office, on the sports field. or in the concert hall.

What happens when you sleep?

Scientists do not know exactly how sleep improves memory, but it seems to involve the hippocampus and neocortex – the part of the brain where long memories are stored. term. It is thought that, during sleep, the hippocampus replay the events of the day to the neocortex, which examines and processes memories, allowing them to persist for a long time.

Researchers continue to investigate the stages of sleep involved in the creation of certain types of memories. Some studies have shown that certain types of memories become stable during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep – the time when you dream. Other studies have found that certain types of memories are most often protected during slow, deep-wave sleep. Scientists are getting closer to understanding the effects of sleep on our brains, but still, many questions still need to be answered.

What we can be sure of is that – sleep is an essential biological need – we need sleep to survive. Unfortunately, in this day and age, very few of us get the sleep we need to ensure our best ability to function. Experts recommend that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Although this is difficult to achieve, it is a goal that we should strive for.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

Here are some tips to help you sleep more:

Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
Exercise regularly, but not near bedtime. Experts recommend exercising three hours before bed.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before bedtime.
Take some time to relax before going to bed. Take a warm bath, read a book, drink some caffeinated tea, and avoid any activities that can cause stress.

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Eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
Create a comfortable sleeping environment by turning off lights, cooling, and making your bedroom comfortable.
Use an audio machine or another type of white noise device to block unwanted sounds.
Don’t watch TV or use the computer in bed. Only use your bedroom for sleeping and sex.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including getting regular and quality sleep – maintaining this habit can be challenging, especially when you’re stressed out with work or exam deadlines. However, remember (and you need sleep to do this!), Sleep is a friend. So, when it comes to learning and memory, get enough sleep.

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