Sleep reminders.

Discovery makes me want to take a nap. Not because this research is boring, but because it suggests you can sleep your way to better recall:

After about 20 minutes, while the sleeping group’s brain wave patterns were in slow wave sleep (SWS), both groups were subjected to the same odor again to reactivate the memory. Another 20 minutes later, the sleeping group were woken, and both groups were given a similar task, but the objects were in different locations and without the odor.

Half an hour later they were asked to recall the position of the cards from the original task.

Rasch and colleagues found both groups were correct about 60 percent of the time without any odor assistance.

But once the odor was added to the test, the non-sleeping group were only correct about 42 percent of the time, compared to the sleeping group’s 84 percent.

“As we expected, reactivation during waking destabilized memories. In contrast, reactivation during SWS immediately stabilized memories, thereby directly increasing their resistance to interference,” the researchers [led by Björn Rasch of the University of Basel in Switzerland] write.