Naps boost memory, but only if you dream

Napping

Sleep has long been known to improve performance on memory tests. Now, a new study suggests that an afternoon power nap may boost your ability to process and store information tenfold — but only if you dream while you’re asleep.

“When you dream, your brain is trying to look at connections that you might not think of or notice when [you’re] awake,” says the lead author of the study, Robert Stickgold, the director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, Massachusetts. “In the dream…the brain tries to figure out what’s important and what it should keep or dump because it’s of no value.” […]

“If you’re not good at something, and you dream about it, you seem to get better at it — especially if the information can be used in different situations,” says Michael Breus, the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health, in Glendale, Arizona, who was not involved in the study.

CNN: Naps boost memory, but only if you dream

(Thanks Bill!)

See also: The Tetris Effect

1 Comment

  1. By “tetris effect,” I thought you were referencing the bizarre study that had people play Tetris to prevent PTSD after a traumatic event:

    http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/01/08/tetris-inoculation-against-ptsd-flashbacks/

    I joked recently that they should have a GameBoy pop out when airbags go off in a car accident. “Quick! Get this man some Tetris!”

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