Stage of sleep important for the process of consolidating memories
This is the big question, still being argued by the researchers.
The weight of the evidence, however, seems to be coming down on the answer, yes, sleep is necessary to consolidate memories — although maybe for only some types of memory.
(For you coffee addicts, no, the caffeine didn’t help the people who were not sleep-deprived).
See your family doctor or a sleep specialist for help.
In the first experiment, the task was an arithmetic task involving working memory.
Sleep-deprived participants performed worse on this task, and the f MRI scan confirmed less activity in the prefrontal cortex for these participants.
In this case, whether or not they had had caffeine made no difference.
In another series of experiments, the brains of sleep-deprived and rested participants were scanned while the participants performed complex cognitive tasks.