Washington – A recent study has concluded that extra sleep can improve memory and also help the Alzheimer’s patients. The team of researchers from the Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis conducted the investigation to find out how extra sleep can affect the memory and recall ability in humans.


Paul Shaw, PhD, professor of the neurobiology at the University led the team of scientists who conducted this research on fruit flies in three different groups. The brain of these flies regulates sleep almost similar to the humans. During the research, the scientists disabled a gene in each group of the flies, so that various memory problems are created. Similarly, these disabled genes cause interference in the ability of the brain to create new memories.

Experiment on Fruit Flies

One group of flies developed a memory condition almost like Alzheimer’s disease, whereas another group faced problems while making memory encoding brain connections. The third group showed too many brain connections.

The team of researchers then increased the sleeping time of the flies by using one out of the three methods that included brain cell stimulation, increasing protein production associated with sleep or drug administration to increase sleepiness.

The extra sleep the flies experienced was almost equivalent to 3 to 4 hours of extra sleep in humans in a span of two days. According to Shaw, the extra sleep restored the bees’ ability to create new memories, irrespective of the technique used for generating extra sleep.

According to Stephane Dissel, a senior scientist at the laboratory of Shaw the disabled or lost gene did not recover and remained in a disabled condition. However, the gene finds its way to solving the physiological problem naturally and brings back the working to normalcy.

Shaw said that in humans, it is very important to induce the right kind of sleep to get such results, and it is not yet known how the ideal sleep can be induced.

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