Having a Bad Day? Don't Take a Nap
A new study by the University of Massachusetts found that sleeping after a traumatic event might lock in bad memories and emotions into your brain. After going through something traumatizing, you most likely get physically and emotionally exhausted. This is a natural reaction that causes you to get tired, and you just want to lie down and take a nap.
The study was conducted on 100 healthy adults, in which they were exposed to several photos, including some disturbing ones, and had them rate their reactions to them. Then they showed the group the same images again 12 hours later. The only difference was that half of them had slept while the other half stayed awake.
The study found that those people who had stayed awake weren't as effected by the images and had a harder time remembering which ones they had already seen. Rebecca Spencer, a neuroscientist at UMass and co-author of the study, told ABC that "It's true that 'sleeping on it' is usually a good thing to do. It's just when something truly traumatic or out of the ordinary happens that you might want to stay awake."
"This study suggests the biological response we have after trauma might actually be healthy," she added. "Perhaps letting people go through a period of insomnia before feeding them sleeping meds is actually beneficial."
So, the biggest thing that I took away from this study is that sleep, even in the form of a nap, helps holds memories better. More often than not wanting to remember something, I do want to remember something. So that means I will always get my 8+ hours a night before a test and especially every night that I study and try to absorb a lot of information.
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