Many a times we walk into a room and forget why we went there in the first place. It is very common and happens to everyone. However, this forgetfulness is more of a hindrance. But not anymore. Scientists have found out, how you can remember things better. They believe that simply getting a good night’s sleep can help. Also Read - Expert tips for selecting the right pillow to sleep peacefully
After a good night’s sleep, we are more likely to recall facts which we could not remember while still awake, researchers have found. According to the team from the University of Exeter in Britain and the Basque Centre for Cognition, Brain and Language in Spain, sleeping not only protects memories from being forgotten it also makes them easier to access. Read: 7 simple tips for a good night’s sleep Also Read - Oversleeping: Weight gain, headache and other harmful effects
‘Sleep almost doubles our chances of remembering previously unrecalled material. The post-sleep boost in memory accessibility may indicate that some memories are sharpened overnight,’ explained Nicolas Dumay from the University of Exeter.
This supports the notion that, while asleep, we actively rehearse information flagged as important. In two situations where participants forgot information over the course of 12 hours of wakefulness, a night’s sleep was shown to promote access to memory traces that had initially been too weak to be retrieved. Dr Dumay believes the memory boost comes from the hippocampus, an inner structure of the temporal lobe in the brain. Read: 10 tips for better sleep (World Sleep Day)
It unzips recently encoded episodes and replays them to regions of the brain originally involved in their capture. This will lead the subject to effectively re-experience the major events of the day. During the study, the team tracked memories fornovel, made-up words learnt either prior to a night’s sleep, or an equivalent period of wakefulness. Subjects were asked to recall words immediately after exposure, and then again after the period of sleep or wakefulness. Read: 7 ways lack of sleep can affect you
The researcher found that compared to daytime wakefulness, sleep helped rescue unrecalled memories more than it prevented memory loss. ‘More research is needed into the functional significance of this rehearsal and whether it allows memories to be accessible in a wider range of contexts, hence making them more useful,’ the authors noted in a paper appeared in the journal Cortex. Read: Snooze foods: Eat these, sleep better!
‘Sleep not just protects memories against forgetting, it also makes them more accessible,’ they concluded.