This Sleep Pattern Improves Learning

It’s almost a university tradition to stay up the night before an exam or looming deadline to try and cram in as much last minute revision as possible. Exam season sees an increase in sales of caffeinated drinks as students up and down the country try and offset the damage of a semester spent in the pub as opposed to the library. However, new scientific research indicates that this sleep pattern improves learning. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t include staying up all night!

Studies carried out at the University of Lyon indicate that sleeping in between study sessions results in a better recall of information. The technique aids recall up to six months later.

The study compared two groups learning new words in Swahili. Half of the participants did two learning sessions on the same day, one in the morning and one in the evening. The other half of participants carried out their learning sessions either side of sleeping, one session in the evening and one in the morning.

The research found that sleeping in between sessions allowed participants to learn words quicker and with less effort. Sleeping boosted memory by 50% when groups were tested a week later. The effect was still noticeable when participants were followed up after six months.

Dr Stephanie Mazza, the study’s author, said:

“Our results suggest that interleaving sleep between practice sessions leads to a twofold advantage, reducing the time spent relearning and ensuring a much better long-term retention than practice alone.

Previous research suggested that sleeping after learning is definitely a good strategy, but now we show that sleeping between two learning sessions greatly improves such a strategy.”

There we have it, banish those last minute all-nighters for an evening of slumber! We don’t need any excuses for that.


Written by: Downland Bedding Posted on: 26th August 2016