News: Sleep (Part 2)

Sleep and its effect on memory

How does sleep impact memory and learning? Part 2 of our Sleep review centers on the restorative functions of sleep and the effects of lack of sleep.


Executive summary 

  • In Part 1 of this series, we saw how and why sleep is thought to have evolved, the sleep cycle in humans, and the genes and neural circuitry involved in sleep.
  • The characteristics of sleep change as an individual ages; the nature of sleep-in children is different from that in adults; this is related to the effect that sleep has on memory consolidation in children vs. adults.
  • Disturbance in deep sleep can have ramifications for emotional, mental, and physical health.
  • Alcohol, drugs, and disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and chronic sleep deprivation can affect sleep negatively, and some of these effects can be long-lasting.
  • Good sleep habits or ‘sleep hygiene” can have profound influence on mental and physical well-being.
  • We end this article with a few things we can do to ensure a good night’s sleep.