Study: Taking Well-Timed Breaks Can Help You Remember More
Scientists have long known that sleep is crucial for forming memories, but now they have evidence that taking breaks from learning–even while you’re awake–can help consolidate memories and “tune in” to what you have just learned.
In a recent study published in Neuron, NYU researchers found that the subjects who took a break from learning retained more of what they learned, whereas those who didn’t rest had more trouble with recall. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) they also found that differences in the hippocampus and other memory-related brain structures reflected the differences in retention of the memories.
Professor Lila Davichi, who was involved in the study, noted, “…your brain is working for you when you’re resting, so rest is important for memory and cognitive function… this is something we don’t appreciate much, especially when today’s information technologies keep us working round-the-clock.”