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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sleep Enhances Memory and Learning

"Do you ever feel forgetful and a little sluggish of mind? Do you wish you could pick up new skills more quickly and easily? Here's a tip: You can boost your learning power by beefing up your sleep routine." writes Dr. Michael J. Breus in his recent blog.

Among children with sleep disorders, poor academic performance may be a clue. Luckily academic performance improves when the sleep disorder is treated.  Read more here.

Dr. Breus has also reported on the link between sleep disorders and dementia.  Furthermore, an individual 60 years of age who has drops in oxygen levels during sleep is far more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in 10 years than is an individual with normal oxygen levels during sleep.  Read more here.

What about the rest of us? While data is growing it stands to reason that everything is on a spectrum and sleep disorders predispose to memory and concentration impairment.  Of interest is the the impact upon perceptive memory, i.e. not the data memory about the details of what happened today but rather the emotional memory of how you felt about what happened today.

Some suggest an impairment in perceptive memory due to a sleep disorder may lead to a "rain man" like syndrome where we recall details well but lack an emotional connection to such wrote memory.  Our personalities are due to that emotional memory after all.  Read more here.

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