Interesting Things We Learned from Memory and Sleep Studies

Over 200 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Interesting Things We Learned from Memory and Sleep Studies
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Vote up the most interesting findings that have been uncovered by memory and sleep studies

Sleep and memory are intimately connected. Without the former, the latter does not function at full capacity. Both sleep and memory studies have led us to make fascinating new discoveries about the human brain - an organ which scientists are still trying to understand. This list is full of facts from cool sleep and memory studies that you need to know about.

All of these things found by sleep and memory studies give us new insight into how our brains work and how we can change our daily habits so that we are healthier and happier. You'll probably be surprised by a lot of these discoveries. Vote for the sleep or memory fact that you think is the most interesting.

  • 1
    73 VOTES

    Nature Improves Memory

    A 2008 study found that participants performed 20 percent better on a memory test after a walk through an arboretum. For comparison, a walk down a busy street did not improve the participants's memory test results at all. It seems as though nature does wonders to revitalize the mind.
    73 votes
  • 2
    84 VOTES

    Sleep Flushes Toxins Out of Your Brain

    Sleep Flushes Toxins Out of Your Brain
    Photo: bykst / Pixabay / CC0 1.0
    According to new research, your brain flushes out neurotoxins that can cause diseases like Alzheimer's twice as fast when you're sleeping than when you're awake. This is because cerebrospinal fluid flows more freely and flows to more parts of the brain during sleep. This groundbreaking discovery provides a key insight into why sleep is necessary.
    84 votes
  • 3
    77 VOTES

    The Strongest Memories Are Emotional

    When your brain sorts through memories during sleep, the emotion centers are particularly active. Several studies have indicated that we are likely to retain the most emotional parts of a memory, and this might be because our emotion centers are so active during sleep.
    77 votes
  • 4
    53 VOTES

    Memories Can Change as You Recall Them

    A study conducted in 2013 instructed participants to look at certain exhibits in a museum and then later showed them photos of exhibits they had seen and exhibits they had not seen. Viewing the photos strengthened the participants' memories of the exhibits they had seen, but also made them more likely to falsely remember seeing an exhibit they had not stopped at. Recalling a memory strengthens that memory, whether it's real or not.
    53 votes
  • 5
    56 VOTES

    Infant Memory Starts Working Early

    You may not be able to recall any memories from before you were about three or four years old, but research has shown that long-term memory starts working very early. Multiple studies done on infants have concluded that long-term memory starts working as early as eight weeks old. Eight-week-old babies could be taught to remember that a particular object would move if they kicked their feet.
    56 votes
  • 6
    64 VOTES

    False Memories Can Be Easily Implanted

    Scientific evidence repeatedly tells us that our memories are not as reliable as we would like to think they are. A 1996 study found that false memories could be implanted in up to 40 percent of its participants, and a 2002 study found that 50 percent of people are susceptible to having false memories implanted.
    64 votes