The Role of Sleep in Learning and Memory.

Topics: Hippocampus, Sleep, Memory Pages: 4 (1156 words) Published: November 7, 2012
Students tend to overload themselves by overnight study to memorize all the study material. However, most of them do not realize that we will have a better result by an adequate sleep than having a three hour sleep before an exam to memorize all the material. This restless lifestyle will significantly reduce health level and in fact reduces our memory consolidation and opportunity to use our unconscious mind to improve the skill that we learn. This theory was first introduced by Muller and Pilzecker about 100 years ago. They made a hypothesis that memory consolidation is time dependent and require regulating from our brain cell which leads to further development in memory consolidation theory nowadays. (McGaugn, 2000.)

According to “Neurology board review: An illustrated study guide.” written by Professor Mowzoon, sleep is divided into 2 main types, which is non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). NREM sleep occur seventy five percent of our sleep and REM sleep only occur for twenty five percent of our sleep. NREM sleep can divide into 4 stages. Stage 1 happens when we are between being awake and asleep. Stage 2 occurs at the beginning of sleep; brain will produce periodic brain wave activity known as sleep spindles that can relax our body muscle and heart rate. Stage 3 and 4 take place in deep sleep. In these stages, our body tissue cultivates and repairs. Lastly, stage 5 of the sleep is involved in REM sleep where most dreaming occurs. In REM sleep, brain and other parts of our body becomes more active but muscles remain in a lessen state. (Mowzoon, 2007) A journal article “Sleep dependent memory consolidation” from Nature precisely categorizes sleep stages and memory. There are several type of memories but commonly they are divided into declarative memories which we can recall in our mind and non-declarative memory where normally used without conscious. The term memory consolidation is referring to memory stabilization, where memories...

References: Mowzoon, N., M.D., Flemming, K., D. (2007). Neurology board review: An illustrated study guide. Rochester, MN: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Stickgold, R. (2005). Sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Nature, 437(7063), 1272-1278.
Peyrache, A., Khamassi, M., Benchenane, K., Wiener, S., I., Battaglia, F., P. (2009). “Reply of rule-learning related neural patterns in the prefrontal cortex during sleep.” Nature NeuroScience, 12(7), 919-926. Doi:10.1038/nn.2337
Maquet, P.(2001) The role of sleep in learning and memory. Science, 294(5544), 1048-1052. DOI: 10.1126/science.1062856
McGaugh, J., L. (2000). Memory – A century of consolidation. Science, 287(5451), 248-251.  DOI:10.1126/science.287.5451.248
“Nap ‘boosts’ brain learning power.” BBC News 21 February 2010. Retrieved from:
Robertson, E.M.; Pascual-Leone, A.; Press, D.Z. (2004). "Awareness modifies the skill-learning benefits of sleep". Current Biology. 14(3): 208–212. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2004.01.027
Wamsley, E., J., Tucker, M., Payne, J. D., Benavides, J., A., & Stickgold, R. (2010). Dreaming of a learning task I associated with enhanced sleep dependent memory consolidation. Current Biology, 20(9), 850-855. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.03.027
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