How to improve memory five times in less than an hour?

Baby sleeping (Credit: Christopher Meredith/Flickr)
Baby sleeping (Credit: Christopher Meredith/Flickr)

Main Point:

You can enhance your memory nearly five times with the help of 45-60 minutes of sleep.

Published in:

Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

Study Further:

Memory is the power of retaining, remembering, and recalling past experiences and knowledge. Normally, new information moves away from the mind quite rapidly as we are prone to forget things. Every one of us wants to have a good memory. Researchers are working on new techniques to improve memory that may range from exercise to practice.

In a study, researchers have found that a power nap of less than one hour can help in improving the performance of memory by about five times. Researchers have found that a short sleep of 45-60 minutes can help in retaining the knowledge more than in the awaken state.

In the study, researchers worked on two groups of people. Both of those groups were shown unconnected pairs of words, and after showing those words, one group was asked to sleep and the other group watched a DVD. Researchers explained that the people in the group, who watched DVD, performed significantly worse than the other group, who was asked to go to sleep. People in this nap (sleep) group were able to retrieve information from memory that is five-fold better than the other group.

Brain (Credit: cblue98/Flickr)
Brain (Credit: cblue98/Flickr)

Researchers have also studied hippocampus, the part of the brain where new information is transferred for long-term memory. Moreover, they have studied brain activity, referred to as “sleep spindles”, which is considered important in memory consolidation during sleep and can be seen as a short burst of rapid oscillations in the electroencephalogram (EEG). Researchers are of opinion that previously entered information is probably consolidated during this type of brain activity. They concluded, “Together, these results speak for a selective beneficial impact of naps on hippocampus-dependent memories.”

Researchers are of opinion that a short sleep (nap) in school or during office hours could help in significantly improving the learning process.


Studte, S., Bridger, E., & Mecklinger, A. (2015). Nap sleep preserves associative but not item memory performance Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 120, 84-93 DOI: 10.1016/j.nlm.2015.02.012

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."

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