The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Naps Clear Brain’s Inbox, Improve Learning

If your brain is an email account, sleep—and more specifically, naps—is how you clear out your inbox.

That’s the conclusion of a new study that may explain why people spend so many of their sleeping hours in a pre-dreaming state known as stage 2 non-rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep.

For years sleep studies have hinted that shut-eye improves our ability to store and consolidate memories, reinforcing the notion that a good night’s sleep—and power naps—is much more conducive to learning than an overnight cram session.

Now scientists may have figured out how, in part, this happens: During sleep, information locked in the short-term storage of the hippocampus—the part of the brain responsible for memories—migrates into the longer-term database of the cortex.

Full story: Naps Clear Brain’s Inbox, Improve Learning