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  • Sound stimulation during sleep may enhance memory

    Apr 11 2013...
    Slow oscillations in brain activity, which occur during so-called slow-wave sleep, are critical for retaining memories. Researchers reporting online April 11 in the journal Neuron have found that playing sounds synchronized to the rhythm of the slow brain oscillations of people who are sleeping enhances these oscillations and boosts their memory. This demonstrates an easy and noninvasive way to influence human brain activity to improve sleep and enhance memory.

    "The beauty lies in the simplicity to apply auditory stimulation at low intensities—an approach that is both practical and ethical, if compared for example with electrical stimulation—and therefore portrays a straightforward tool for clinical settings to enhance sleep rhythms," says coauthor Dr. Jan Born, of the University of Tübingen, in Germany. READ MORE>>
  • Acting out dreams linked to developing dementia

    Mar 22 2013...
    The strongest predictor of whether a man is developing dementia with Lewy bodies — the second most common form of dementia in the elderly — is whether he acts out his dreams while sleeping, Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered. Patients are five times more likely to have dementia with Lewy bodies if they experience a condition known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder, a parasomnia, than if they have one of the risk factors now used to make a diagnosis, such as fluctuating cognition or hallucinations, the study found.

    "While it is, of course, true that not everyone who has this sleep disorder develops dementia with Lewy bodies, as many as 75 to 80 percent of men with dementia with Lewy bodies in our Mayo database did experience REM sleep behavior disorder. So it is a very powerful marker for the disease," says lead investigator Melissa Murray, PhD, a neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic in Florida. READ MORE>>
  • Study finds sleep consolidates memories for competing tasks

    Mar 20 2013...
    Sleep plays an important role in the brain’s ability to consolidate learning when two new potentially competing tasks are learned in the same day, new research at the University of Chicago finds.

    Other studies have shown that sleep consolidates learning for a new task. The new study, which measured starlings’ ability to recognize new songs, shows that learning a second task can undermine the performance of a previously learned task. But this study is the first to show that a good night’s sleep helps the brain retain both new memories. READ MORE>>
  • Sleepwalkers sometimes remember their actions

    Mar 15 2013...
    Three myths about sleepwalking – sleepwalkers have no memory of their actions, sleepwalkers' behavior is without motivation, and sleepwalking has no daytime impact – are dispelled in a recent study led by Antonio Zadra of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Sacré-Coeur Hospital. The study was published in the March issue of The Lancet Neurology. Dr. Zadra answers some questions to try to clear up some of the confusion about sleepwalking. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep enhances emotional memory, preserves emotional intensity

    Feb 09 2012...
    Sleeping on a negative thought helps preserve it, a recent study concluded. Participants were shown images. Some of the images were positive, others negative. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep Deprivation May Help in Emotional Trauma Treatment

    Feb 03 2011...
    Normally the Sleep Education Blog reports on the numerous physical and mental health problems caused by sleep deprivation. In this one case, sleep deprivation may actually have a benefit. If you don’t sleep after a traumatic event, you may avoid developing PTSD or other anxiety disorders, a recent study reports. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep & Memory: “Replay” to Remember

    Jun 26 2009...
    A study reports that the role of sleep in memory consolidation has been confirmed. READ MORE>>