February 3, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
The period of non-REM sleep essentially consists of the other four sleep stages and lasts between 90 and 120 minutes, while each individual stage lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes in length.
A recent study by Matthew A. Tucker, PhD, of the Center for Sleep and cognition and the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has discovered that a short 45 minute non-REM nap during the afternoon can have important benefits for an individual’s declarative memory performance.
Declarative memory consists of accessible conscious memory, such as semantic memory which refers to factual knowledge and episodic memory which refers to theoretical knowledge.
The study demonstrated that compared to those with equivalent periods of wakefulness, a nap facilitated declarative memory performance for all who mastered the memory tasks during training.
"These results suggest that there is a threshold acquisition level that has to be obtained for sleep to optimally process the memory," said Dr. Tucker. The study suggests that a nap can help one to retain well-learned material.
Ironically, the study made no suggestions regarding sleep habits facilitating the acquiring of new information.
© www.mentalhealthblog.com 4 comments