Have you ever heard the saying “You Snooze You Lose”?  If you are a young adult, you have probably heard this from parents advising you on academics or from siblings just joking around.  This statement is very true in some aspects of our lives; from career opportunities to our love interest.  Although this common saying is true in everything we do socially, it is false when it comes to our brains and the way we store information.

During grade school, most of us figure out the best methods that help us remember the concepts we are taught.  Some of the methods that we use include repetition such as reading material over and over; or, if you are a visual learner you tend to think that looking at the material continuously will work.  These study methods have gotten us to where we are now but most students know this does not work for learning when taking college level courses.

Research shows that the best method to improve memory is sleep.  Yes, you read that right.  According to the ScienceDaily article titled “Study Shows How Sleep Improves Memory”, which summarizes the research done by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the study consisted of twelve college students that were taught a sequence of finger movements, such as playing a guitar.  After a period of sleep, the students’ brains were measured using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine, which measures blood oxygenation in the brain, to show the actual parts that were active when performing the sequence of finger movements.

The frontal lobe is the most active part of the brain when it comes to short-term memory and making logical decisions. When we receive new information, we process it and then later the information is moved to the cerebellum via neural connections.  After looking at the measurements, it was evident that during sleep, the brain had transferred the recently gained knowledge to different parts of the brain, therefore enhancing it.  ScienceDaily quotes Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School saying that because of this transfer of information to different areas the memory tasks can be completed faster with better accuracy.

Knowing that sleep is the best method to improve memory, it is important that you begin “cramming” for exams earlier so that your brains can transfer the information to the cerebellum for enhancement, and in turn make your exams seem much smoother.  Because there is no way that we can deprive our brain of sleep and still learn effectively, and, sleep on it.