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Medicine Science

Lose Sleep, Fail To Form Memory 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the expect-dupes-if-i-miss-my-nap dept.
Rambo Tribble writes: 'A research team of Chinese and American scientists claim to have witnessed the mechanism by which sleep contributes to the formation of memories. Using advanced microscopy, the researchers witnessed synapses being formed in the brain of sleeping mice recently exposed to a learning task (abstract). They compared this to similarly tasked mice, that were subsequently sleep-deprived. The sleeping mice showed a marked increase in the formation of new synapses. As one researcher explained, "We thought sleep helped, but it could have been other causes, and we show it really helps to make connections and that in sleep the brain is not quiet, it is replaying what happened during the day and it seems quite important for making the connections.'''
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Lose Sleep, Fail To Form Memory

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  • College (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:05PM (#47181427)

    This study proves what I've been saying all along: Sleep is key. A lot of my buddies in college find it strange that I choose to sleep instead of cramming all night, and then are perplexed when I would get higher grades.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Yeah, does this mean when I passed out drunk it actually WAS better than cramming all night?

      I'm going to take this as proof that my 18 and 19 y/o self had it all figured out.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Most likely no. From what I understand, drunk sleep is bad sleep, neurologically speaking.

        • Re:College (Score:4, Funny)

          by AnontheDestroyer (3500983) on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:51PM (#47181879)

          I don't remember reading anything like that.

        • Re:College (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Thud457 (234763) on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:51PM (#47181881) Homepage Journal
          I always thought 36-hour shifts in medical internship was stupidly counter-productive.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Of course it is, but what's the point of being in a position of authority if you can't abuse those below you. Internships are intentional torture.

          • by metlin (258108)

            My son is 3 months old, and I walk around in a dazed stupor. It's a miracle that I am functional most of the time. Fortunately, my job has been greatly understanding, so that's been helpful.

          • by volmtech (769154)
            One of my childhood friends almost failed his residency and dropped out of medicine because he couldn't stay awake 36 hours. After several tries he was able to complete his residency and became one of the top pediatric plastic surgeons in the nation.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            It's just a stupid hazing ritual designed to select for a certain sort of /character/ rather than optimal ability. It is, frankly, surprising that medicine manages to help so many people - but then most doctors do routine work which requires little thought, and their abilities are vastly overestimated by the general public.

            All the quickest-thinking academics I've known get quite a lot of sleep. This includes the medical researchers who actually discover the stuff that the average quack has to simply follow

    • Well, if you haven't done *any* studying before that night, it's still better to cram and forget some than sleep and not know anything.
      • by dpidcoe (2606549)
        Even then... It's been my experience that assuming you're not an idiot (granted that's a bold assumption since you didn't study until the night before) and showed up to lectures or at least know a little about the material, you'll often have better chances reasoning out the questions in a less sleep deprived state.
    • How did you acquire this arcane knowledge that was not until this study known?

      Was it all of the previous studies that linked sleep and memory without knowing the synapse-level effects of sleep deprivation?

      Were you reporting your own personal experience as if it reflected the rest of the population?

      Did you simply guess right?

      Or did you somehow intuitively guess the results of a study that had not yet been performed?

      I'm sure there are no more options, unless you count "vainly trumpeting a personal validation

    • by WhoBeI (3642741)
      Well, yeah, but you probably also plan your studies allowing you to learn what's needed over time instead of trying to memorize an entire book in one night. Trying to focus and do mental work while sleep deprived is usually not a good idea either regardless if you know the subject or not.
  • But 12 hours of sleep over the last 3 nights isn't going to help.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:08PM (#47181463) Journal
    All the transactions of a session is all kept in local cache and volatile memory. Finally it has to shut all external connections off, prune, collate, compile, squash and transcribe the local cache into more permanent record. Wait, am I describing the brain? Or our wonderful IT shutting off our git repo and clearcase server everyday between 3 AM and 8 AM?
    • Why would you need both GIT and ClearCase?!
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Probably because they are a company that wasn't formed yesterday. Maintenance of History, old products.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Clearly they spent all night setting up ClearCase, then the next morning they remembered they needed to install a code repository.

      • Why would you need both GIT and ClearCase?!

        Because we are lucky. Some of the teams need CVS too. Acquisitions are fast. Integrations are slow.

  • ... formed in the dreams of mice? And, if mice dream, do they dream of flying?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    At least it would have been if I had gotten enough sleep and remembered to post earlier.

  • So perhaps these senior moments I've been having are not so much from being over the hill as from the fact that as I've gotten older I get less sleep overnight?
    • by turp182 (1020263)

      I would give feedback, I'd rather comment as that is a very insightful comment.

      Take your thought and expand it over decades. The memory process doesn't complete without sufficient sleep. What else doesn't? What else degrades? Are the effects of less sleep cumulative (it is with memories, having the body of forgotten memories increasing, I wonder if memory degradation is also occurring at a higher rate)? Is less sleep a factor in dementia, does it contribute to Alzheimer's disease?

      For the record I get a

  • no surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:22PM (#47181603)

    How were the mice sleep deprived?

    Stress has been linked to poor memory for decades. Was it that stress has caused poor sleep quality and poor memory, or is it that sleep deprivation stressed the mice which caused poor memory, or both?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How were the mice sleep deprived?

      Stress has been linked to poor memory for decades. Was it that stress has caused poor sleep quality and poor memory, or is it that sleep deprivation stressed the mice which caused poor memory, or both?

      I don't think that matters much - the interesting point is something different: They observed brain cells grow. After they trained the mice in a specific manner. This sounds like there is an observable link between a certain kind of information and how it is wired into the brain.

    • Don't you remember? It was right there in the article. ;)

    • Gentle handling. Also, they had a control for this using injection of the stress-related hormone corticosterone, which failed to produce the changes they saw with sleep deprivation. This is in Science, they don't muck around too much there.
  • by Rodness (168429) on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:22PM (#47181605)

    It's amazing how little sleep you can get and not die.

    And for about a month after both of my kids were born, I really don't remember much at all.

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:34PM (#47181725)

      It's amazing how little sleep you can get and not die.

      And for about a month after both of my kids were born, I really don't remember much at all.

      Same here. We adopted my son at the age of 2. I don't remember about the first 6 months other than that he was VERY upset and trying to kill us. I still have scars from the bite marks. He wouldn't sleep unless we held him and walked in circles... all night. As soon as we stopped he would wake up and bite. I always thought it was PTSD blocking it out but maybe not. :-)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm a foster parent, our current we got around 11 months, and holy cow that girl could SCREAM and yell all night... 3 years later she still has sleep issues but much more manageable instead of her psychologist termed PTSD from what she saw her first 10 months of life screaming uncontrollably for hours on end. I'm convinced her poor memory is from her not willing to go to sleep till 3-4 hours after bedtime...

        Sadly I remember those nights too well, but then again, as she got older we had another kid (or own),

        • I'm a foster parent, our current we got around 11 months, and holy cow that girl could SCREAM and yell all night... 3 years later she still has sleep issues but much more manageable instead of her psychologist termed PTSD from what she saw her first 10 months of life screaming uncontrollably for hours on end. I'm convinced her poor memory is from her not willing to go to sleep till 3-4 hours after bedtime...

          Sadly I remember those nights too well, but then again, as she got older we had another kid (or own), so must have passed enough in memory...

          I remember it said that being an adoptive parent takes a special kind of person, which luckily I am. We're very blessed. But adopting pales in comparison to fostering. My hats off to you sir.

      • He wouldn't sleep unless we held him and walked in circles... all night. As soon as we stopped he would wake up and bite.

        My daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was four. Walking in circles, jiggling gently... I got to the point where I could literally do it in my sleep. Otherwise I think I would have died. But at least she didn't bite!

        One time we tried to let her "cry it out", which everyone kept telling us to do. But the neighbors started complaining after six hours of continuous all-out

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think that furry little kid you adopted was a honey badger.

      • I hardly ever comment here, but please just let me say - from one human being to another - a big THANK YOU! I have the highest respect for Good People who take in children through adoption and raise them.

        Don't know what country you're in/from, but the world needs more people like you.

    • You were probably doing things instinctively and reflexively, along with potentially being affected by stress. After you got comfortable with a routine, you did things automatically.

      None of these explanations has to do with sleep deprivation, but they likewise do not trigger the "record memories" action.

      Oh look, more poop to clean up. Change another diaper, attempt to insert food into mouth, rejected again. Should I remember this for later? No need.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not in my dreams. I did not discover a huge new type of shark yesterday nor did I end up in Brazil selling a guy a bunch of old US yellowpages for $50.

    • by praxis (19962)

      Not in my dreams. I did not discover a huge new type of shark yesterday nor did I end up in Brazil selling a guy a bunch of old US yellowpages for $50.

      It's hard to make your claim unless you remember all of your dreams.

    • Not in my dreams. I did not discover a huge new type of shark yesterday nor did I end up in Brazil selling a guy a bunch of old US yellowpages for $50.

      Well you probably don't remember your brain replaying what you remember. It's already there. You remember your brain running unit tests designed to see if the connections laid out from remembering the days events are actually going to work in a variety of real world usage scenarios.

  • Here's the full paper in PDF format: http://expirebox.com/download/... [expirebox.com]
  • Working 2-3 full time jobs, going to school, etc. I really have almost no recollection of anything in my 20s. I have the paystubs, etc to tell me what I was doing, but actual memories? Nope. Three to four hours of sleep a night. It sucks.

  • My schedule changed monthly: days working Saturday through Tuesday, another day shift then PM's followed by three PM's and two night shifts, and then a month of nights. My last night shift ended on a Wednesday at 0600 and I returned to day shift the next Saturday at 0600. Only one employee was on duty over 90% of the time. I was a mental wreck for years from sleeping four hours at a time and my diet suffered as well.
  • Marcel Proust was obsessed with all of the tiniest memories possible, as well as sleep. I guess now there is an explanation for the correlation
  • Let us rest Dungeon Master !!
  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/re... [sciencedaily.com]

    At the end of the article: "Our data suggest that neuronal reactivation during sleep is quite important for growing specific connections within the motor cortex," Dr. Gan adds.

    That suggests that the sleep deprived mice might have created stronger connections if they had a second session on the treadmill while the others were sleeping. As I understand it the study provides physical evidence that current theories about how memories form are not false. Those theories include re

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