A good night's sleep not only keeps your energy levels up but also keeps your brain alert. It's puts you in the right mind to focus, learn new things and remember information. A new study published in the journal Cell Reports supports the same. A team of scientists have proved that getting proper sleep helps boost your memory as the brain activity while sleeping sorts through several experiences we encounter every day and retains only important information in memory pockets.
Their findings showed that patterns of brain activity that occur during the day are replayed at fast-forward speed while we're sleeping. This strengthens the microscopic connections between nerve cells that are active -- a process deemed critical for consolidating memories. The replayed activity happens in part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is our central filing system for memories. “These findings are about the fundamental processes that occur in the brain during the consolidation of memory during sleep,” said lead researcher Jack Mellor from University of Bristol in a paper published in the
The new discoveries provide further evidence for the benefits of a good night's sleep. Troubled sleep or sleep deprivation has also been associated with chronic diseases like schizophrenia or Alzheimer's leading to impaired mental functions. “It also seems that the successful replay of brain activity during sleep is dependent on the emotional state of the person when they are learning. This has major implications for how we teach and enable people to learn effectively,” Mellor said.
The research team involved the University of Bristol's Centre for Synaptic Plasticity within the School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience and was supported by the MRC, Wellcome Trust, EPSRC and Eli Lilly & Co. Various other studies have also established the fact good sleep benefits the retention of memory.