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Don't just remember to sleep, sleep to remember

Posted by Dr.Himanshu Arora | On September 07, 2016

Quality sleep is essential for day-to-day functioning. It is a universal function of the brain that is physiologically essential and unavoidable. We all remember to go to sleep every night but you will be surprised to know that sleep helps us remember.

As you know that memory is a vital part of our learning process, that helps us to acquire information and knowledge. It helps us in understanding, thinking , reading , writing and doing things. The skills that we had learned in past can be used by us only because of the memory.

Types of memory and the role of sleep
There are two types of memory short term and long term. Further longterm memory is divided into declarative memory for example remembering facts and past events whereas procedural memory is related to remembering learned skills like playing a guitar or driving a car etc.

Memory process takes place in the following manner, first learning new information(encoding) , then memory consolidation, storage and then memory recall or retrieval. The the point is that learning and recall can be done while we are awake but the consolidation or information storage will only occur only when you sleep. Research says that a good sleep is essential in formation of memory both before and after learning a new skill. The quantity and quality of sleep both play an important role on learning and memory.

Neuroscientists believe that REM sleep and slow wave sleep (SWS) is very essential for memory consolidation. As you know a person who has sleep deprivation cannot focus attentively on anything which means he will have problems in learning and memory.
The bottom line is that if you want to have a good memory then you should focus on the quantity and quality of sleep.