There’s a great article on NationalGeographic.com this week about a new study that reinforces just how important sleep is for categorizing memories and even assisting with the operation of your brain. From the article:
Previous research had shown that sleep helps people consolidate their memories, fixing them in the brain so we can retrieve them later.
But the new study, a review based on new studies as well as past research on sleep and memory, suggests that sleep also transforms memories in ways that make them somewhat less accurate but more useful in the long run.
“The sleeping brain isn’t stupid—it doesn’t just consolidate everything you put into it, but calculates what to remember and what to forget,” said study leader Jessica Payne, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
Payne says the memories that seem to be remembered most clearly are the most emotional ones.