How Snoozing Strengthens Memories
When you learn something new, the best way to remember it is to sleep on it. That’s because sleeping helps strengthen memories you’ve formed throughout the day. It also helps to link new memories to earlier ones. You might even come up with creative new ideas while you slumber.
Sleeping to Learn
Research suggests these tips may aid students and other learners:
Get a good night’s sleep before learning. Lack of sleep can cut learning ability by up to 40%.
Get a full night of sleep within 24 hours after learning to strengthen new memories and build connections between different pieces of information.
Get enough sleep each night—7 to 8 hours for most adults. Memories won’t be strengthened with 4 hours or less of nighttime sleep.
Naps might help or hinder. A 90-minute nap can strengthen memories, but naps late in the day may make it harder to get to sleep at night.
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