When you're feeling unsure about a big decision or preparing for an important day ahead, your best action plan may be to sleep on it.
During sleep, patterns of brain activity that happened during waking hours are sped-up and replayed, according to new research from the University of Bristol published in the journal Cell Reports. This behavior helps us create and store memories.
All of this happens in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that's sort of like a filing cabinet for memories. The "replay" that occurs during sleep bolsters connections between the nerve cells that consolidate memories. With sleep, these cells become better at sorting the information and determining what's worth storing.
So while many are inclined to pull an all-nighter to prepare for an upcoming exam or project, a night spent sleeping may be the key to really acing it. The action gives your brain a chance to replay and store all of the things you need to know, while also ensuring you're less stressed and more focused for the big day.
These new findings are further evidence that a good night's sleep may be the key to, well, everything. Previous research has shown that a good night's sleep can improve memory, and maybe increase a person's smarts and creativity.
Lesson learned today? Sleep is your key to success.
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