Better Sleeping Promotes Improved Memory

Go back to your early childhood years, particularly your grammar school years, and try to remember the methods you took to study for a test.   Maybe you crammed in as much knowledge as you could by reading and re-reading the chapters.  Perhaps your parents helped by making Q & A cue cards to make studying more fun. Or, more interestingly, you choose to believe the urban myth about going to sleep with your textbook under your pillow so the knowledge will naturally just pour into your brain.

The last example about sleeping with your textbook under your pillow seems a bit far fetched, but sleep plays an important role in your brain when it comes to memory.  A recent study that was published in Neuron Magazine describes for the first time how cellular changes in the sleeping brain promote the formation of memories.  To easily sum up this research, better sleeping leads to improved memory.  The brain naturally performs more efficiently when it has received the proper amount of rest.

This study shouldn’t be shocking to people because the brain needs to rest every day.  Forcing the brain to keep functioning during the late hours is similar to keeping a car running all day; eventually its going to run out of gas and slowly start shutting down.  The human brain is the most complex unit in the world and it needs to be properly taken care of to ensure it functions correctly.  This study is a true example of how the brain can produce better results.  Giving yourself better sleeping methods will create an overall better memory.

To all of the college students out there, remember to get enough sleep during finals.  Instead of cramming the night before a big test, try gradually studying throughout the week while achieving at least eight hours of sleep a night.  Put aside the energy drinks, the sleeping pills and the caffeine and let your brain naturally fall asleep.  Your brain, and your GPA will thank you.

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