We’ve previously written on this blog about the importance of sleep and noted some interesting ways that lack of sleep can affect your waking self. New research piles on yet another reason you need to get those zzzzzs – getting a good night’s sleep, without interruption, is key for forming memories.
This study differs from previous sleep studies, as it doesn’t focus on total hours of sleep per night but rather the continuity of the sleep. In this recent study from Stanford, scientists found that mice with severely interrupted sleep failed to form memories. For mice, 2 minutes of sleep was needed to form memories, but mice typically only sleep a few minutes at a time. For fruit flies, the magic number is 30 minutes. Researchers suggest that humans would likely need much more time and are planning future studies in this area of study.
You can read more about the study at Science News.