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Sleep disturbances may affect memory

New Delhi, Thu, 29 Mar 2012 NI Wire

There is a new addition to the adverse effect of sleep disturbance. A new study has found that disturbed sleep adversely affects the memory consolidation and enhancement that usually happens with a good night's sleep.

It is becoming increasingly accepted that sleep is important for strengthening long term memory, so the researchers went a step ahead to find out whether these beneficial effects only arise after some minimum amount of intermittent sleep.

Djonlagic and team of researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, observed that patients with sleep apnea that leads to sleep disturbances, showed significantly lower overnight improvement and plateau performance for a newly learned motor task than observed for the control group.

During training period both groups had comparable initial learning performance indicating the overnight sleep was possibly linked to the resultant poorer performance.

"Optimal overnight memory consolidation in humans requires a certain amount of sleep continuity independent of the total amount of sleep," the authors have been quoted as saying.

The open access journal PLoS ONE has published this study.

--with inputs from ANI)

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