Over the last decade, scientists have been learning more and more about the role sleep plays in memory. A new study now indicates that learning before sleep can actually double your chances of remembering what you were trying to learn.
Researchers at the UK’s University of Exiter asked volunteers to try to remember made-up words either before a night’s sleep or after 12 hours of wakefulness. The “sleepers” were nearly twice as likely to remember the words.
The scientists conducting the study believe the boost in memory accessibility may indicate that some memories are sharpened overnight. They say it may be due to sleep activity in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays a key role in recall.