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Our Better Health

1. How sleep after learning enhances memory

Sleep after learning encourages brain cells to make connections with other brain cells, new research has shown for the first time.

The connections, called dendritic spines, enable the flow of information across the synapses.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Wen-Biao Gan, said:

“We’ve known for a long time that sleep plays an important role in learning and memory. If you don’t sleep well you won’t learn well.
But what’s the underlying physical mechanism responsible for this phenomenon?
Here we’ve shown how sleep helps neurons form very specific connections on dendritic branches that may facilitate long-term memory.”

• The full article: how sleep enhances memory.

2. Why some people only need five hours’ sleep a night

While most people can get by with less than six hours sleep, the majority will suffer physically and psychologically, especially if sleep deprived over the long-term.


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