Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is considered active sleep and comprises 20-25% of normal sleep for an adult in a night. There is intense brain activity during REM sleep. Some research shows that REM sleep aids in information processing. REM sleep appears to be critical in the consolidation of memories after learning. In 1994, Karni and others conducted a research experiment to determine a link between REM sleep and learning
(Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2011). For their research,
participants learned a new skill. The participants that had a normal night’s
sleep or did not have their REM sleep interrupted showed performance
improvement. Performance did not improve in the participants who had their REM
sleep interrupted. Their research also showed that short naps involving REM
sleep also enhanced learning.
According to Wood, Wood, & Boyd (2011), the high percentage of time an infant spends in REM sleep leads to the conclusion that REM sleep is important in the neurological development of infants. I can see how that conclusion can be drawn since infancy is an important time of learning. According to my research, REM sleep is important in sifting through and organizing experiences and then storing the information in memory. Perhaps the amount of REM sleep an infant gets determines how quickly or slowly they master a new skill than other babies their age?
Wood, S. E., Wood, E. G., & Boyd, D. (2011). The World of Psychology (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
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