Sleep disorders

Sleep problems affect memory

Sleep problems affect memory



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Interrupted sleep affects our ability to form memories.

We all know that the lack of hours of sleep has consequences for our health. Tendency to fall asleep all the time, mood swings, increased feelings of sadness, irritability, pessimistic attitude, stress and anxiety.

Did you know that lack of sleep for several days can lead to hallucinations and temporary insanity?

Studies show that the chances of suffering from a psychiatric illness increase up to 40% when sleep problems become chronic.

Lack of sleep affects our memory

A study has confirmed that in addition to all this, sleep is crucial for consolidation of long-term memoriesFurthermore, its interruption can lead to cognitive deficits.

The authors have investigated whether there is a need for a minimum number of hours of sleepcontinuous to ensure that these effects on memory do not appear. And they have found that for theoptimal consolidation of a memory during the night there needs to becontinuity in the dream, regardless of the total number of hours of sleep.

The most important thing is continuity in the dream

During the day we accumulate many memories that need to be "stored" in our brain. This occurs during deep sleep, so anything that affects sleep will have an effect on this process to a lesser or greater degree.

Therefore it seems that regardless of the total amount of sleep or the intensity of sleep, there needs to be a minimal continuity in sleeping hours for the memory consolidation.

In fact, people with sleep apnea have trouble consolidating their memories. And in some of the pathological conditions in which memory is affected, such as Alzheimer's, sleep continuity is one of the factors that are affected.

Djonlagic I, Saboisky J, Carusona A, Stickgold R and Malhotra A. PLoS One (2012). More information.

Keep reading:

  • Lack of sleep could increase the risk of Alzheimer's


Video: Sleep deprivation and memory problems. Robbert Havekes. TEDxDenHelder (August 2022).