A good night’s sleep helps the brain to file away important information from the activities of the day.
Patterns of brain activity from the day are replayed at fast-forward speed during sleep.
This helps strengthen microscopic connections between the nerve cells in a process which is deemed critical for consolidating memories.
As the daytime events are replayed during sleep the brain sorts and then retains important information.
The discoveries at the University of Bristol underline the need for good sleep since poor sleep patterns can lead to impaired mental function.
The emotional state of the person during the day also impacts the replay during sleep.
“this has major implications for how we teach and enable people to learn effectively” says lead researcher Dr. Jack Mellor from the University’s School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience.
The findings are published in the journal “Cell Reports”.