Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Promote napping by students!

Research shows that a short, five- or ten-minute nap after class or after studying can improve learning.

Yesterday, I posted this study tip at my blog for students, The A&P Student at theAPstudent.org .

If any of your students are readers, you may find them out in the hall napping after class today! (And if your students are not readers of my student blog, why not?)

A current theory is that during the process of falling to sleep we sort through our recent memories and possibly filter and organize them. This may "lock in" important memories of what was learned in the classroom or while reading the textbook or studying.

Hmmmm . . . perhaps colleges should offer more napping spaces in classroom buildings to enhance learning. Not a bad idea, eh? Let's all take this idea to our deans right now!

This is the quick summary I gave to the students from NewScientist:

Are catnaps as beneficial as actual sleep?
Colin Barras
NewScientist 21 February 2008

Here are some additional resources
(professors always like to know "a little more" than our students right?)

An ultra short episode of sleep is sufficient to promote declarative memory performance
Journal of Sleep Research 17(1):3-10. 2008.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00622.x
[The research cited by the NewScientist article above.]

Sleep hormone may make you forget

Roxanne Khamsi
NewScientist 16 November 2007
[Melatonin supplements theoretically may block the memory-enhancing effects of sleep.]

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