MEMORY BOOST “You ‘member!!”
May 11, 2016
It stands to reason if we treat our brain like we treat our hard drives, and refresh, restart and optimize them on a regular basis, we would all function better. Case in point:
The other day I walked into a room and stopped and asked myself, “Now, what did I come in here for?”
I used to get frustrated and get mad. Mad at myself, my brain...and then I realized I really didn’t get enough sleep the night before...and the night before that. It kept happening so much that I just said, “Forget about it! I’ll just sit down and have a sandwich!”
Here's the scientific explanation. According to Nature Reviews Neuroscience, sleep has been identified as a state that optimizes the consolidation of newly acquired information in memory, depending on the specific conditions of learning and the timing of sleep. Consolidation during sleep promotes both quantitative and qualitative changes of memory representations. Through specific patterns of neuromodulatory activity and electric field potential oscillations, slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep support system consolidation and synaptic consolidation, respectively.
During SWS, slow oscillations, spindles and ripples — at minimum cholinergic activity — coordinate the re-activation and redistribution of hippocampus-dependent memories to neocortical sites, whereas during REM sleep, local increases in plasticity-related immediate-early gene activity — at high cholinergic and theta activity — might favor the subsequent synaptic consolidation of memories in the cortex.
(FYI: If you have to read the previous two paragraphs more than once, you’re probably need more sleep!)
Now, imagine walking into a room and being pleasantly surprised when you remember why you went in there! A sure sign your brain has rebooted and functioning at full capacity. ■