Researchers at Saarland University have shown that a short nap that lasts about an hour can greatly improve memory performance. The study involved memory recall testing of 41 participants. The subjects had to learn single words and word pairs and were then tested to determine how much information they could recall from the exercise. Half of the participants were allowed to sleep, while the others watched a movie, then the participants were retested to see how much information they could remember. The volunteers who had taken a nap demonstrated that they retained substantially more word pairs than the ones who had watched the movie. These results have been published in the journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. The researchers concluded that a short nap is enough to significantly improve learning success, and that we should think seriously about the positive effects of sleep. A concentrated period of learning followed by a short relaxing sleep may be all that is needed to ensure the successful retention of information.
Contributor: Johanna Hartman