Could Better Sleep Help Those With Memory Loss?

Sleeping is one of the essential parts of our lives, and not getting enough can put you in an awful mood, rendering you completely unproductive. However, getting too much can result in missing important life events or becoming lazy. Everyone knows you need the right amount of sleep; even children know when they need more or less sleep. However, what most people consistently neglect is getting the right kind of rest. 

Personally, I’ve been getting more sleep than usual lately since I have a little more time on my hands. Unfortunately, I’ve been waking up feeling worse than I used to when I wasn’t sleeping enough. I recently got online to try to find out what the issue is. If I’m sleeping as much as I currently am, why on earth am I so tired? Also, do I need to sleep less than the recommended eight hours to feel like myself again?

That’s when I stumbled upon this article talking about sleeping rhythm. It’s basically an experiment where they tested people’s ability to remember specific phrases memorized the night before. All the patients who tried to memorize the phrase were hooked up to machines, and their sleep patterns were monitored. The results were somewhat unsurprising although not well-known by any measure. Those who had more stable sleeping rhythms were able to retain memories overnight much more efficiently than those who had more hectic sleeping rhythms. The results remained the same regardless of age or gender. It was found that the synchronicity of brain waves indicated how well memories were transferred from the short-term into the long-term memory overnight. The synchronicity of brain waves is incredibly fragile, however, and if they’re even a millisecond off of each other memory retention can be hindered.

The most exciting part of the experiment was what it could all mean moving forward. Apparently, since it mostly boils down to these brain waves, which are primarily electric waves, the idea is that it’s possible to manipulate these waves in your sleep with electric and magnetic pulses. You can then re-synchronize the brain waves while you’re asleep. Doing this can improve quality of sleep and memory retention without any drugs and tackles the exact area that needs to be addressed. 

The hope for these sets of experiments and ideas is that we can eventually learn how to fix memory loss in aging adults by altering the most significant fault in their memory. This could prove to help those who are dealing with Alzheimer’s, or even just those who are slowly losing their memory. Wouldn’t it be great to reach 100 years of age and still have the same quality of memory you did when you were 20? Soon enough, this may be possible.

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