Sleep can decrease stress and lower the risk of certain health problems, as well as boost your mood (via Health.gov). Adequate sleep can also improve your memory, per the American Psychological Association.
According to the Sleep Foundation, the first stages of sleep are light NREM sleep, followed by deep NREM sleep. During this time, the brain selects certain memories, and the thalamus sends cues to the cerebral cortex, which interprets information from the memories.
“When we first form memories, they’re in a very raw and fragile form,” Dr. Robert Stickgold, a sleep expert from Harvard Medical School, told NIH News in Health. “During a night of sleep, some memories are strengthened.” This includes memories of procedures, which can also be enhanced while dozing. NIH News in Health noted that this includes, say, how to play an instrument, while the Department of Neuroendocrinology at the University of Lübeck found that it could apply to a student being able to recall vocabulary, per Learning & Memory.
Ensuring you get enough sleep for improved memory
On the other hand, not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on recollection. The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging looked at the relationship between chronic insomnia and cognitive functions, via EurekAlert!. It found that those suffering from the condition were more likely to experience cognitive problems — especially anything having to do with declarative memory, which covers concepts, events, and facts.
That being said, it is imperative to get enough rest. Healthline‘s tips and tricks for getting in some solid rest quickly and easily include adjusting a room’s temperature, keeping to a schedule, listening to relaxing music, and getting in the right sleep position.
Healthline also reports that memory can be improved by meditating, eating less sugar, and taking things like curcumin and a fish oil supplement. So in order to effectively remember lessons, steps, dates, and more, try out these strategies and get in enough zzzs!
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