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Posts Tagged ‘REM sleep and problem solving’

sleepThe New York Times (6/23, D6, Bakalar) reports in Vital Signs that, according to a study published June 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, rapid eye movement sleep (REM), “the kind that includes dreams,” may facilitate problem solving. For the study, researchers from the University of California-San Diego “gave 77 volunteers word-association tests under three before-and-after conditions: spending a day without a nap, napping without REM sleep, and napping with REM sleep.” They found that “a nap that included REM sleep resulted in nearly a 40 percent improvement over the pre-nap performance.” Study author Sara C. Mednick, PhD, stated that dreams “incorporate strange ideas that you would never have put together in waking life. In REM sleep, it becomes more likely that ideas might come together in a solution.”

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