Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Study on Sleep and Learning

The power of sleep to strengthen new memories is demonstrated in a joint study conducted by Harvard Medical School and the University of York. The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Sleep helps you learn. For the study, volunteers learned new words, were tested, and then went to sleep. In the morning they were tested again.  Not only did they remember more words than they did right after learning them, but they also recognized them more quickly. Sleep had strengthened the new learning.

There's a direct connection to neurofeedback. Sleep is often one of the first things that people who come for training see improvements in. This may be any of the following:

  • Falling asleep more easily
  • Waking less or not at all during the night
  • Easier to fall back asleep if you do wake 
  • More memory of dreams
  • Deeper, more restorative sleep

If you have questions about how neurofeedback could help you improve your sleep please post them here, or you can email me confidentially.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback


  1. Awesome Article.Thanks for the new learning.

  2. I have trouble falling back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night. Could neurofeedback help with that type of problem?

  3. I would be surprised if neurofeedback wasn't helpful with that. It's often anxiety that makes it hard for people to fall back asleep, and neurofeedback typically reduces anxiety quickly. I find that people start to have a very natural trust in their ability to fall back asleep - and that's a big part of it right there.