If you're a student trying to learn something new, stop studying and take a nap--but make sure you dream! (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).
Napping after learning something new can help you commit it to memory, and The researchers think that dreams are a sign that unconscious part of the brain is working hard to process the information you just heard.
When volunteers were asked to learn the layout of a 3D computer maze, researchers found that the people who dreamed about it learned it better on waking than those who do not sleep or dream. The participants who napped and who also remembered dreaming, also learned it more quickly.Those allowed to take a nap and who also remembered dreaming of the task, found their way to a landmark quicker. BBC News quotes researcher Erin Wamsley as saying, "Every day we are gathering and encountering tremendous amounts of information and new experiences. It would seem that our dreams are asking the question, 'How do I use this information to inform my life?'"
In this week's Dreamland, Starfire Tor discusses the power of dreams. And if you're a college student whose roommate always seems to be taking a nap after a class, he or she is doing the RIGHT THING!
Art credit: Dreamstime.com
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