Improve memory and recall with sleep

As you have so much to do, you start to sleep 6 hours a night. Little do you know, an 8 hour sleep could leave you with a better memory and improved recall.

Memorising things is hard. Through out or lives we are trying to memorise everything from events and history to exam answers and a plan for the future. Many students will spend all night trying to remember key facts for exams. It is ironic to think that sleep has such a large effect on memory and learning. All the students that spend all nighters to memorise answers may be doing more damage and be more forgetful than those who get a good nights sleep instead.

For insomniacs it may be sobering news that not only does a lack of sleep affect the memory and recall of exams answers, but also the memory of faces, sceneries, experiences, procedures, and many other things. Our memory of procedural and skills could be the most important and is also the most affected by sleep.

In order to counteract the effects of sleep, people drink coffee. Coffee has caffeine which helps to reduce the feeling of tiredness. The problem with coffee and ultimately caffeine is that all it is doing is masking the symptoms of a lack of sleep. It does not help to improve memory, recall or learning.

When you sleep, your brain tries to sort out all the memories and information from the previous day and file them for future retrieval. It goes through a process called memory consolidation. It is during this process that short-term memories from the day are set as long-term memories.

It is only after a 6 hour period of memory stabilization that memory consolidation occurs. This means that a 6 hour sleep will not have as much of an effect on your memory as an 8 hour sleep would.

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