Has anyone ever given you the advice to “sleep on it” when you have a tough decision to make? According to a new study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, this idea actually has some merit. The study is not suggesting that sleeping helps you learn more effectively, but that your brain is doing more than just resting when you sleep. The study says that when you are sleeping your brain is actually reviewing and processing the day’s events.
In order to test this, the researchers conducted a series of tests in which the participants were asked to learn how to play a gambling game. It was found that those participants who had a full night’s sleep after being given the directions to the game were more efficient at playing the game and were better able to figure out the trick to the game. Overall the study does not show a direct link between learning and sleep but it does help to stress the importance of sleep for performing cognitive tasks at your best ability.