National Sleep Awareness Week reminds us that it is important to give our bodies adequate amounts of sleep each night to promote good overall health.
Researchers remind us of the impact sleep has on memory. According to Dr. Jose Colon (NBC 2, 2017), “sleep deprivation can affect both short term and long term memory.” In REM sleep, memories are consolidated with emotions, which helps form long term memories. Interrupted sleep due to sleep disorders may impact the REM cycle, causing memory trouble. If you are having trouble sleeping, it is critical to see a Sleep Medicine specialist to evaluate possible sleep disorders (NBC 2, 2017).
Recent research at Northwestern University shows that pink noise synced to brain waves may possibly deepen sleep and triple memory scores in older adults. A new study reports that gentle sound stimulation, synchronized to the rhythm of brain waves, was able to significantly enhance deep sleep in older adults and improved their ability to recall words. With more studies, researchers hope to make new technology available for home use (Science Daily, 2017).
Remember, doctors recommend between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. The shorter the sleep time, the more it may affect long term and short term memory. If you are struggling to sleep at night, schedule a visit with your physician to see if help is available!
NBC 2. (2017). Health Matters: How sleep improves memory. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from http://www.nbc-2.com/story/34767757/heatlth-matters-how-sleep-improves-memory
Science Daily. (2017). Science News: Sound waves boost older adults’ memory, deep sleep. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170308081024.htm