Sleep on it

April 22, 2007

Researchers found that sleep is a lot more than rest:

Science Daily — Memorizing a series of facts is one thing, understanding the big picture is quite another. Now a new study demonstrates that relational memory—the ability to make logical “big picture” inferences from disparate pieces of information—is dependent on taking a break from studies and learning, and even more important, getting a good night’s sleep…
Science Daily: To understand the big picture, give it time, and sleep.

There’s more, of course; the article touches upon research into learning intervals and what the brain is doing while you snooze.  Shadow a high school student these days and you’ll realize there’s no time in the school day for stuff to sort itself out.  And I wonder; do naps count?  American culture has siezed upon the 16-hour marathon as the only way to get through a day.  Are we making ourselves dumber?

  1. April 22, 2007 at 11:34 | #1

    The irony of finding this blog post in the midst of a “major” study session for two exams I have coming up tomorrow and Tuesday astounds me.  The guy I’m studying with and I have just finished discussing this VERY topic (about the crammers, the people who just memorize facts and don’t understand the big picture,etc). 

    Thanks for posting~! I’m going to get a good night’s sleep tonight and mull things over for a while.

  2. Ted
    April 22, 2007 at 13:57 | #2

    I nap like crazy. Not that I’ve learned anything because of it, but napping is fun.

  3. April 23, 2007 at 08:13 | #3

    Are we making ourselves dumber?

    Excellent question and the answer appears to be yes.  I have for one have been touting the importance of power naps for a long time.  I just now have another good reason for them.

    I nap like crazy. Not that I’ve learned anything because of it, but napping is fun.

    I like taking naps cause if I only lay down for about 15 minutes I feel re-energized.

  4. Abhilasha
    April 25, 2007 at 13:53 | #4

    Woo Hoo for the power naps…

    Personally, I feel that a nap of 15 mins or so after every 2 hours of studying helped me concentrate better…

    Usually I keep a notebook next to my bed….Often when I have some crazy coding issue and amazingly, by next morning, I know a solution to the problem…

  5. April 25, 2007 at 21:01 | #5

    It’s interesting that many cultures and societies keep the afternoon nap/siesta as an important part of the work day.  North America is shooting itself in the foot.

    Another interesting idea that just came to mind… Babies sleep a lot.  Babies learn fast.

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