Power naps produce a significant improvement in memory performance

March 20, 2015 12:25 PM

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Power naps produce a significant improvement in memory performance

A team of researchers at Saarland University headed by Professor Axel Mecklinger have shown that a short nap lasting about an hour can significantly improve memory performance. The study, which was coordinated by graduate research student Sara Studte, involved examination of memory recall in 41 participants. The volunteers had to learn single words and word pairs. Once the learning phase was over, the participants were tested to determine how much information they could remember. About half of the participants were then allowed to sleep, while the others watched a DVD. After that, the participants were re-tested and those who had taken a nap were shown to have retained substantially more word pairs in memory than the participants in the control group who had watched a DVD. The results of the study have been published in the respected academic journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

Generations of school students have gone to bed the night before a maths exam or a vocabulary test with their algebra book or vocabulary notes tucked under their pillow in the hope that the knowledge would somehow be magically transferred into their brains while they slept. That they were not comple...

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