A nap One hour can strengthen brain function, as discovered by a study at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). And it is that, the dream is necessary to eliminate the data stored in the short-term memory and leave space to the new information.
Research shows that programming sleep in two phases renews the mind and, in addition, can enrich it. On the contrary, the longer a person remains awake, the more his mind will be lethargic. The same researchers had already verified in previous studies that the Lack of sleep the ability to retain new data by almost forty percent decreases, due to the deactivation of regions of the brain that occurs during wakefulness.
"The dream not only fixes the evil of a prolonged vigil but, at a neurocognitive level, places you in the place where you were before taking a nap," explains Matthew Walker, director of the research.
In the aforementioned study, 39 healthy young adults were divided into two groups. Halfway through the day, they all participated in a learning task that activates the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is responsible for the consolidation of memory and learning.
At two in the afternoon, one of the groups slept for 90 minutes, while the other remained awake. Later, around six o'clock in the afternoon, both groups carried out a new round of learning exercises. Those who had slept got better results, performed the test better and increased their ability to learn, compared to those who had stayed awake throughout the day.
Electroencephalogram tests, which measure electrical activity in the brain, indicated that the process of memory cooling that occurs during the nap is associated with phase II of non-REM sleep (short for Rapid Eye Movements, in English). The phase II sleep is partially restorative, it is not enough for the rest to be considered complete and occupies about 50% of the sleep time in the adult. Walker adds that the purpose of this phase of the dream was unknown and that the results of the study help to understand why humans spend almost half of their sleep hours in phase II, not REM.