Research presented at the Society for Neuroscience conference shows sleep is important to memory and learning…
One team of researchers from Pennsylvania, for example, studied the effects of a single night of lost sleep on 22 healthy adults who agreed to stay in the lab for 5 days and undergo brain imaging and memory testing.
The participants were first tested after a normal night of sleep, then after a night of sleep deprivation, and once again after 2 nights of recovery sleep. They found that participants performed more poorly on memory tasks after a lost night of sleep and that connectivity was perturbed between the brain’s hippocampus (which plays a role in memory and other functions) and default mode network (a network of brain areas thought to play a role in self-perception and day dreaming).
The good news, however, was that these brain connections and the participants’ performance on memory tasks were back to normal after a couple nights of recovery sleep, according to Hengyi Rao, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, who discussed the findings during a press briefing Tuesday.
So, college students, the lesson is that instead of procrastinating until the night before, procrastinate until the day before – then cram, crash, and pass.