Naps Boost Long-term Memory
90-minute snooze helps brain lock in events, skills
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2008 6:50 PM CST
Two men sleep during a hip hop concert at Joubert Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday Oct. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A daily siesta can boost long-term recall and help people learn instruments and remember decisive events, a new study says. A University of Haifa researcher taught people tapping: He showed participants a tricky rhythm, then let half sleep for an hour. Those who stayed up failed to tap better, while the nappers improved. Both groups' tapping was at par after they got a good night's sleep.

"We still don't know the exact mechanism of the memory process that occurs during sleep," brain researcher Avi Karni said. "In the future, we may be able to do it artificially." The study also showed that a 90-minute nap locked in memories even better than the hour-long rest, LiveScience reports.