Some rewards and power naps can boost our learning and productivity, revealed a recent study by researchers from the University of Geneva.
The team observed that receiving rewards as you learn can help cement new facts and skills in your memory, particularly when combined with a daytime nap. The study findings reveal that memories associated with a reward are preferentially reinforced by sleep. Even a short nap after a period of learning proves to be beneficial.
Lead researcher Kinga Igloi said, "Rewards may act as a kind of tag, sealing information in the brain during learning. During sleep, that information is favorably consolidated over information associated with a low reward and is transferred to areas of the brain associated with long-term memory. The findings are relevant for understanding the devastating effects that lack of sleep can have on achievement. We already knew that sleep helps strengthen memories, but we now also know that it helps people select and retain those that have a rewarding value."
The study will be published in eLife.