What stages of sleep are important for memory?

Christopher E. Morgan, MD
Sleep Medicine
The earlier stages of sleep are important for memory consolidation -- specifically stage two and three. In these stages, memories become more stable and they prime the brain for learning the next day. Lack of sleep can cut learning ability up to 40%.

In stage two sleep, brainwaves become slower and there is an occasional burst of rapid brainwaves. During stage three, brainwaves go even deeper and slower. It's during this stage that you obtain your most restorative sleep. Stage three sleep helps combat that daytime feeling of sleep deprivation.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Continue Learning about Sleep Basics

Reduce Screen Time for Better Sleep
Reduce Screen Time for Better Sleep
In Bedtime for Bonzo, when college professor Peter Boyd (Ronald Regan) attempts to demonstrate that he can teach a chimpanzee (Bonzo) right from wrong...
Read More
What is the best way to nap?
Dawn MarcusDawn Marcus
Researchers have determined that naps give the best health benefits when they are: About 30 minute...
More Answers
What are some tips on a good bedtime routine for my child?
Charles J. Sophy, MDCharles J. Sophy, MD
·        Maintain a routine bedtime for your kids.·        Be consistent in observing your own routi...
More Answers
Can My Diet Affect My Sleep?
Can My Diet Affect My Sleep?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.