Ability to Learn Is Affected by the Timing of Sleep

Sleep has many functions—including facilitating learning.Now a study finds that when we acquire new information, and how soon we sleep after that may affect our retention of the info. That’s according to research in the journal Public Library of Science One.Scientists had more than 200 subjects memorize related words like “fire and smoke,” or unrelated word pairs like “insect and truth.” Some studied the words at 9 am, others at 9pm.The researchers tested the subjects’ ability to remember the pairs after 30 minutes, 12 hours or 24 hours.Sleep had little effect on the ability to recall related words. But subjects who slept between tests were significantly better at remembering the unrelated words than those who got no shuteye.

via Ability to Learn Is Affected by the Timing of Sleep: Scientific American Podcast.

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