Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Sleep Spindles and Learning
How much sleep are you giving your brain on a regular basis? Sleep spindles (bursts of brain waves) appear to network between key regions of the brain to help shift fact-based memories from the brain’s hippocampus (with limited storage space) to the brain's "hard drive" in the prefrontal cortex (with virtually unlimited storage space). The result is that the hippocampus is freed up to take in more data. According to UC Berkeley’s Matthew Walker, a lot of spindle-rich sleep occurs in the second half of the night, so if you sleep six hours or less, you may have fewer sleep spindles and might not be able to learn as much.