We all feel better after a good night's rest. But when we're learning something new — whether it's at work or at school — sleep is even more important than we ever realized. According to researchers at Michigan State University, sleep may actually be a time when some of us learn. Going beyond just processing different information, the researchers believe sleeping may be a new unconscious form of memory.
Published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, scientists speculate that this type of learning may be totally different than the traditional memory systems that have been studied. After looking at 250 people, researchers found that people varied greatly in their "sleep memory" ability, with some having memories that improved dramatically while others didn't — even when people slept the exact same amount.
Researchers go so far as to tell ScienceDaily that this potential memory ability is not being captured by traditional intelligence tests and aptitude tests, such as the SAT and ACT, and could help with classroom learning. At the very least, it's another reason to get those zzzs!
How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.