We learn best when we rest

Tired teen falls asleep while studyingGoing to sleep shortly after learning something new will help a person remember the information, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind. Results were published March 22 in the online science publication PLOS One.

Psychologist Jessica Payne and colleagues studied the relationship between sleep and memory in college students and found that memory recall is better when a person sleeps shortly after studying than when compared with a full day of being awake.

Payne says her team’s findings that sleeping soon after learning benefits memory means “it would be a good thing to rehearse any information you need to remember just prior to going to bed. In some sense, you may be telling the sleeping brain what to consolidate.”

For students, maybe nodding off in class isn’t such a bad idea after all.

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