Sleep on it
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?