Memories ‘formed when during REM sleep’

A new study has found that people convert information to memory better if they achieve REM sleep.

A new study has found that people convert information to memory better if they achieve REM sleep.

People who get rapid eye movement (REM) sleep when in bed at night are more likely to process information into memory, according to new research.

Sara Mednick, a sleep researcher at the University of California in San Diego, told attendees at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association how REM slumber is vital to retaining thought processes.

A study was carried out on participants who were divided into three groups; those who had a quiet rest, some who had a period of non-REM sleep and a group which did.

It was found that only the latter individuals improved on the morning tests after a midday nap, increasing their performance by 40 per cent.

Dr Mednick said this shows that: “REM sleep is important for pulling together all the information we process on a daily basis and turning it into memories we can use later.”

In a separate study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, it was found that recovery snoozing on a weekend can help people catch up on sleep loss during the week.

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