Nothing improves memory like a little shut-eye, a new study suggests. Researchers taught new information and skills to two groups of patients, and allowed one to sleep normally while giving the other none or only a nap. The sleepers tested better the next day–and scans revealed enhanced brain activity to match that performance.
"Sleep is not just a waste of time, it is a very active time," said one sleep expert. "During the day we acquire information, but at night we sort that information. People complain about sleep deprivation, but now with the 24/7 society and information overload we need our sleep more than ever."