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Do not forget to sleep

19-03-2013

If you can’t remember whether you had a good sleep last night then chances are you didn’t! Ok, it isn’t quite that simple but research has shown that links between sleep and memory.

Put bluntly, the better you sleep the better your memory is. It may seem too convenient but study after study has shown the same thing, people who have had a good night’s sleep are better able to retain and access memories than those who have had a poor night’s sleep.

A typical study takes three groups of people chosen at random so as to ensure that they are a good sample of the population at large. One group is the control, nothing happens to them. One group is the sleep deprived group (poor buggers) while the others are the group that get to sleep well. All three groups are then given information or taught how to do a task, something that requires a degree of memory retention. Then they spend the night either sleeping well or not depending on which group they are in and then in the morning they are given the same test or task relating to the previous day’s events.

Time and again the sleep deprived do worse than those who sleep well. Many experiments have even swapped groups around to see if that changes anything, it doesn’t. Sleep better for better memory.


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