Sleep 'Prioritises Memories We Care About'


Sleep
Benefitted by sleeping

Sleep plays a vital role in a daily human routine whether a necessity or a hobby. It not only helps you replenish yourself biologically but also aids in promoting good health and cleanses your body. It is already known that lack of sleep or sleep deprivation has a harmful effect on memory and learning.

A recent study has discovered that while sleeping, the experiences that matter to you a lot are more expected to enter your memory for long term. Apparently, during sleep all thoughts and experiences are not treated quite equally.

Language testing

A test was conducted where around 80 participants who did not speak Welsh were taught words in that language right before they sleep or while awake. Those who slept showed an improved knack to learn the words, and the effect was seen the most in those who placed their own value on the language.

This indicated that memories supposed as important go through favoured treatment during sleep by the brain. While it has been long that they established the fact that sleep aids the merging of memories, this has been the first test to show that the effect is subjective by how much the memory matters to you.

The results were talked over at the British Science Festival on Friday and are shortly to be put out in the Journal of Sleep Research. Prof Mark Blagrove who conducted the research with his colleague Elaine van Rijn from Swansea University said that the simple fact that your views about something seem to affect the processing of the brain of things during the night is truly way beyond belief. The study was conducted on university students who spoke native English, and had arrived in Wales with no previous record of living in the country.

These foreign students were all presented with 28 Breton and Welsh translations of words in English, with the help of a tablet computer app. Either after a minimum of 6 hours’ sleep or no sleep, the app verified instant recall of words and then the number of words memorized 12 hours later. The people were also requested to rate the level at which the Welsh language was valued by them. There was a noteworthy correlation between the number of recalled Welsh words and the value that was placed on the Welsh language, but for only the sleep group.

The findings 

According to Prof Blagrove and his colleague Ms van Rijn, this indicates that anything we come across is more expected to be merged in our sleep, especially if it is something we personally value. This test was held in the Swansea sleep lab. It was also here that the group also ran tests based on the happenings and the effects on dreams.Hence in order to be able to memorize things for a long term we must get enough sleep and care about those things. It indeed is mind boggling that a particular memory that we care about so much ensures its importance inside our minds and the prolonged period for which we can recollect it.

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