Another reason to sleep – by Candice Setton

by | May 16, 2011 | Communication

We’ve probably all been given the sage advice of getting a good night’s sleep before a test or exam. But I wonder, if we really knew just how valuable the advice was, if we might have taken it more readily and not sat up till ridiculous hours cramming!? Let’s take Key Steps this week to understand how to…

Sleep Your Way to Remembering

Your “Key Steps” Coaching for the week ahead:

1. The long-term storage of memories occurs while you sleep. Basically, our brain constructs and reorganises its circuits while we sleep. Several researchers have shown that neuronal representations of memories are reactivated during sleep, as if the brain were replaying a recording. The replay is essential to long-term memory storage, possibly because it redistributes neuronal connections from short-term memory to long-term storage sites in the neocortex.

2. How does the brain “decide” what to keep and what to dump? Although most of what was encoded into memory is shed (e.g. where you parked your car or what you had for breakfast), the “important stuff” remains (e.g. a major disagreement with a spouse or a promising job interview). A study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, concludes that the brain evaluates information based on future expectations. After a good night’s sleep, we remember information better when we know it will be useful in the future.

During the study involving two groups, one group was warned they would be tested after learning new tasks while the other group was not warned. Also, some, but not all, of the volunteers were allowed to sleep between the time they learned the tasks and the time they took the tests. Sleep compared with wakefulness produced a strong improvement on test performance but only if the subjects had been informed about the test. So, the bottom line is, pre-warn yourself of the importance of certain information that will be useful in future and then get a good night’s sleep! Your brain will do the rest so you can…

“be the difference that makes the difference




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’