Sleep Interruptions Create Memory Problems

In a new study researchers discovered that sleep interuptions create memory problems.

The study, described in My Health News Daily, involved a group of healthy adults and a group with mild sleep apnea. (When people suffer from sleep apnea, they experience pauses in their breathing during sleep that can cause them to wake up many times during the night.)

Sleep Interruptions Create Memory Problems

Scientists divide the memory process into three main stages: encoding, consolidating and retrieving. The consolidation of memories includes stabilizing and storing them for the long term.

Study participants learned a motor task in the evening in which they typed the same sequence of five numbers over and over again. The researchers said the healthy and the sleep apnea groups learned the task equally well; both became more accurate and faster at typing the sequence over time.

After a night’s rest, and with no additional training, the healthy participants showed a 14 percent improvement in their task accuracy and speed. However, the sleep apnea patients showed almost no improvement, and some did worse than the day before.

You can read the rest of this interesting article here.

sleep interruptions cause memory problems

In this article, we learned that one of the reasons we experience memory problems is that new information sometimes doesn’t get a chance to be fully consolidated during sleep.

There’s nothing worse than getting up with that overwhelmingly drowsy feeling after an interrupted night’s sleep.  Now we know that a bad night’s sleep contributes to memory problems too. We may not be able to do much about it, but being aware of it helps us cope just a little bit better.

Have you noticed that sleep interruptions create memory problems? Share your experiences in the comments area below.