It’s not surprising that children who sleep better are more likely to do well in school, but a new study may show why.
The research, conducted at University of Tuebingen, in Germany, looked at how well children turned “implicit” knowledge into “explicit.”
Explicit knowledge is information stored in the mind while implicit knowledge is being able to go about doing something without necessarily knowing how.
Implicit may be converted into explicit, and vice versa, but the effects of sleep on memory have not been studied extensively, especially in children.
Researchers trained twenty-eight children and adults to press buttons on a panel in a particular order using a trial and error method.
After a night’s sleep, the participants were asked to explicitly recall the sequence of button presses.
Children performed better on this explicit memory test than did the adults, according to the findings published in Nature Neuroscience.
The researchers noted the children had slower wave activity in their sleep, and this quantity was linked with explicit memory performance.
The deepest stage of sleep is characterized by brain patterns known as slow wave activity – electrical waves which wash across the brain, roughly once a second, 1,000 times a night.