While you sleep your brain learns. Research with rats has shown how they rehearse maze-routes in their brains whilst they’re dozing. And human research has demonstrated that learned material is better recalled after a sound sleep as opposed to a disturbed night. But what hasn’t been looked at before now is the optimum time to leave between learning and sleeping.
A team led by Johannes Holz has done just that, finding that “procedural learning” (practice at the kind of skill that you do, rather than talk about) is more effective right before sleep. Learning factual material, by contrast, (dependent on “declarative memory”), was found to be more effective when done in the afternoon, seven and a half hours before sleep, although the evidence for this was less convincing and should be treated with caution.
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from BPS Research Digest, written by Christian Jarrett