Brain scientists were aware that sleep improves memory, but they had no clue how . There were different opinions, some said brain cells form new connections during sleep; others claimed to produce evidence that sleep pares away existing connections.
Neurobiologist Wen-Biao Gan of New York University’s School of Medicine and his team has confirmed that neurons formed new connections. The research team created a fluorescent protein gene that made a few type of neurons visible. The mice were divided into two groups:
One group of mice was allowed to sleep after some physical task, while other group was not allowed.
When Gan observed their brains, he was surprised to see that the mice that had slept formed more dendrites ( tiny filaments that help communicate).
The impact of sleep on memory
The effect of sleep-deprivation effects were so strong on other group of mice that they needed much extra training than the rested mice. So, sleep enhances memory and improves the cognitive behavior. Sleep helps form new specific connections.
Last year, in another discovery, it was found that brain uses sleep to wash away toxins built up during whole day thinking.
So not having enough sleep can be dangerous. Experts are now expressing their concerns about people not getting enough sleep. However, there are concerns that people are not getting enough sleep. It can lead to serious health problems.
How to make your kids smarter in studies?
The research has greater implications for kids who were forced to study more by their wards. “If you want to remember something for long periods you need these connections.” Prof Gan added, “So it is probably better to study and have good sleep rather than keep studying.”
While commenting on the discovery, Dr Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer, from the University of Surrey, told: “This is very impressive, carefully crafted and using a combination of exquisite techniques to identify the underlying mechanisms of memory.”
(Source: Some part of the story has taken facts from James Gallagher of BBC website)