“Not sleeping well” will become stupid? Scientists have confirmed that sleeping well can help the brain consolidate its memory

For ordinary people, they can live 20 days without food, 7 days without water, and only 5 days without sleep. Therefore, sleep is very important for health.


In the Roman Empire, there was a very cruel death penalty, including the penalty of depriving prisoners of the right to sleep, and those deprived of sleep died of stroke within a few days.

Scientists have studied sleep and found that sleep helps humans and other animals to maintain memory. If the lack of sleep for a long time, it will cause permanent damage to brain cells, which will lead to the decline of people’s quality of life. Until recently, however, neuroscientists discovered ways to help mammals consolidate their memories during sleep.


When awake, synaptic connections in the brain are often enhanced, which requires negative regulation during sleep. However, the specific effect of sleep on synaptic plasticity remains unclear. A study published in the top journal Science has revealed the mysterious relationship between sleep and memory.


Yuji ikegu of Tokyo University and Maoyi fujizawa of RIKEN Institute of brain science found that in the main state of sleep, slow wave state, a special brain wave called sharp wave ripple is the key to synaptic negative regulation. Specific silent spikes prevent spontaneous synaptic downregulation and hinder new memory learning!

In the long history of mankind, the survival and development of many civilizations depend on the memory of the brain, and the generation and preservation mechanism of memory is also a key issue in neuroscience. As early as 1971, the first related research appeared. In the hippocampus of mice, researchers found that when new memories were formed, hippocampal neurons formed transient and stable connections. As a result, the hippocampus has become one of the brain regions that researchers pay close attention to.


Hippocampus has been proved to be related to memory, emotion and other important brain functions, especially memory, including spatial memory, learning memory and episodic memory. Take spatial memory as an example. Without the assistance of hippocampus, it is bound to be difficult for us to remember the relative position of objects, so everyone will become road crazy. However, the size of the hippocampus is limited. We can’t store an infinite number in the limited space, right?


Enough research results have shown that the hippocampus is not the storage of memory, it only serves as the birthplace of new memory, after which new memory will be transferred to the neocortex to form long-term memory, and the hippocampus will be “formatted” to meet the next new memory. Studies in both animals and humans have shown that sleep plays a crucial role in this reset process.

As sleep deepens and brain waves show synchronized slow waves, we enter slow wave sleep. In this state, the hippocampus will spontaneously release instantaneous high-frequency oscillations. Researchers call this special brain wave sharp ripples. Spike ripples are related to the activation of new memory neurons and also participate in the integration of memory.


So sleep is very important to us. We can’t stop sleeping. In the process of our continuous memory, the hippocampus has to repeat the cycle of “writing” and “erasing”, and sleep plays a key role. It’s not your illusion that you can’t sleep well and have a bad memory. Don’t stay up late, sleep more!


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