Sleep is a critical period for memory consolidation, and most people don’t get enough. Research has shown that even brief periods of sleep deprivation can lead to difficulty remembering things.
In a new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, a team led by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania found that a particular set of cells in a small region of the brain are responsible for memory problems after sleep loss. Previous experiments have shown that sleep-deprived mice have memory problems and lower levels of a certain chemical called 4EBP2 . The chemical is produced during sleep and is thought to be play a role in memory.
Previous experiments have shown that sleep-deprived mice have memory problems and lower levels of this chemical. So, the team tried injecting the chemical into the brains of mice, then deprived them of sleep.
What they found by comparing injected and non-injected mice before and after sleep deprivation is that the injected mice were more able to remember tasks taught to them. In short, despite the sleep deprivation, the injected mice had normal memory.