Study: Naps Greatly Boost Memory If You Dream

Posted on April 24, 2010

CNN reports that a new study has found that naps can boost memories, but they work best if you dream. Robert Stickgold, the director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told CNN that "In the dream...the brain tries to figure out what's important and what it should keep or dump because it's of no value." Dr. Stickgold also explains those dreams where you show up for a test that you are unprepared for. He says this type of scary dream is your brian is trying to keep you from making this mistake.

Dr. Stickgold told CNN, "When you're in school -- especially college -- there's this ongoing sense that you haven't done enough. Maybe you didn't make it to a lecture, or you had a paper due in three days that you hadn't started, so you're laying down memories that say, 'I haven't done anything that I need to do.'"

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the study in the clip below. He says that if sleep is good for memory, then dreaming is even better. Take a look: