Say you need to remember something important. Information from a meeting where taking notes wasn’t possible. A pitch you’ll make to investors. A presentation you’ll make to employees.
So you take mental notes, or review written notes. You study, highlight, or rehearse. If you’re smart, you also sleep: According to a 2016 study published in Psychological Science, people who studied before bed, then slept, and then did a quick review the next morning not only spent less time studying, but also increased their long-term retention by 50 percent.
That’s the power of sleep-dependent memory consolidation. As those researchers write, “Converging evidence, from the molecular to the phenomenological, leaves little doubt that offline memory reprocessing during sleep is an important component of how our memories are formed and ultimately shaped.”
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