Deep Sleep Doesn't Increase Memory

by Medindia Content Team on  November 6, 2001 at 12:33 PM General Health News
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Deep Sleep Doesn't Increase Memory
Students who go to bed early to be ready for a big test the next day might be missing the mark, according to a study to be released Friday by a San Fernando Valley researcher that finds a good night's sleep does not increase memory.

REM sleep is a deep sleep during which an individual's eyes dart rapidly under closed eyelids and the body is almost completely paralyzed except for the heart, diaphragm, eye muscles and internal organs. Humans on average get about two hours of REM sleep per eight hours of sleep, usually just after falling asleep. Humans on average get about two hours of REM sleep per eight hours of sleep, usually just after falling asleep.

"There are many kinds of brain activity that can affect the memory, but there is no conclusive evidence to show that REM sleep helps memory consolidation,'' said the study's author, Jerome M. Siegel, researcher at the Center for Sleep Research, Department of Veterans Affairs in suburban North Hills, and the Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Siegel further asserts that studied subjects who took drugs that induced REM sleep deprivation did not necessarily have a lessened memory capacity.


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