Eight hour sound sleep can boost memory and learning, finds study

Eight hour sleep can significantly boost memory and learning, says a new study. According to researchers, students wake up whole night before exams and try to cram up concepts, but it is of no use as they forget most of the things in the crunch situations due to lack of sleep instead they should sleep for upto eight hours to improve the learning experience. In addition, it was revealed that people who see faces and names for the first time before the eight hours sound sleep, remember those names and faces in a better way after they wake up when compared to others who had slept for less than eight.

Lead researcher Jeanne F. Duffy from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital said that in the study it was found that learning ability, correctness of answers and confidence of participants improved significantly after the sound sleep while poor sleep led to poor memory functioning.

For the study, researchers showed random 20 photographs of human faces with corresponding names from a database of 600 photos before sleep and asked them to memorise names attached with every face. Study authors then asked every participant to sleep and then after a period of twelve-hour subjects were shown the same photographs with either incorrect or correct names attached with it and every participant was asked to tell whether correct name was displayed with the corresponding face or not, also they had to rate their confidence on a scale of one to nine.

Every participant went through the test twice — once after a sound sleep and secondly within an interval of sleep. The data obtained clearly showed that volunteers who had slept for eight hours correctly matched 12 percent more faces with corresponding names when compared those who had poor sleep last night.

Duffy said that sound sleep is very important as it aids to new learning activities and helps in memorizing things in a better way. She concluded that people who suffer sleep disorders are more likely to develop memory problems. While, it is better for students to sleep before exams as eventually it might help scoring more by helping the brain to memorize things.

The study appeared in the Journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

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