Deep Sleep Improves Your Memory

Just in case you were looking for yet another reason to sleep “5 more minutes”…

A new study showed that face and name recall can be improved by ample and undisturbed slow-wave sleep.

The Scoop

  • Name recall and face recall are two statistical measures of memory. Name recall is the ability to remember a person’s name after having met them for the first time, while face recognition is the ability to remember a person’s face.
  • They are both significant elements of social interactions.
  • Slow-wave sleep (SWS), also known as deep sleep, refers to phase 3 of sleep characterized by non-rapid eye movement (NREM).
  • SWS is also the phase when phenomena such as dreaming and sleepwalking can occur.
  • Researchers wanted to test whether targeted memory reactivation during sleep could improve associations regarding the perception of faces, including the ability to recall a person’s name.
  • They discovered that sleep quality plays a major role in strengthening one’s face-name associations and connected memories.
  • The associations were improved by longer periods of deep sleep.
  • Associations were of lower quality if the sleep was disturbed.

So, there you have it.

Longer, unperturbed deep sleep will help you memorize and recall faces and names better.

Next time you want to take a nap at 3 P.M. just tell everyone that you are doing it to save your social interactions. Show them this study and it might just work.

Note: Originally published on a different platform on January 15, 2022.

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