Sleeping helps students remember

Sleeping after learning new material could be one way in which students are better able to remember information. This is the suggestion of new research from the University of Notre Dame, which found periods of rest following class is highly beneficial for recall.

Jessica Payne, a Psychologist at the learning institute, which was founded in 1842 and officially chartered by Indiana legislature in 1844, worked with colleagues to discover shut-eye can be advantageous for both types of memory - episodic and semantic.

While the former relates to specific events, the latter refers to a person's ability to think of facts about the world.

Ms Payne stated: "This means that it would be a good thing to rehearse any information you need to remember just prior to going to bed."

She explained this method could be explained through the idea that a person is telling the sleeping brain just what it needs to consolidate.

Dr Luci Wiggs, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "The emerging relationships between sleep and learning are exciting for researchers although complex because, of course, the terms sleep and learning are umbrella terms which can be further subdivided into a multitude of related constructs.

"What is becoming clear from both animal and human studies is that when considering the links between sleep and learning one needs to assess both the sleep obtained before the learning takes place and also the sleep obtained after the learning takes place - adequate amounts of good quality sleep appear to facilitate learning in the first place but sleep post-learning plays a role in the consolidation of the learning.

"Research to-date suggests that key features of sleep appear to vary according to the type of memory task and the brain regions involved."

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