Sorting While You Sleep

News Note

By Darren Buford

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, April/May 2001.


William Golding may have been correct when he wrote, “Sleep is when all the unsorted stuff comes flying out as from a dustbin upset in a high wind.” What Golding didn’t know was sleep also is a time when our brains sort and solidify that unsettled information into memories. Researchers at University College London recently monitored brain activity during learning tasks conducted while awake and compared it to brain activity during sleep. Results from the comparison showed the area of the brain stimulated during the exercises was the same area of the brain stimulated during slumber, thus provoking researchers to speculate memory consolidation may occur at this time.