The findings showed that patterns of brain activity that occur during the day are replayed at fast-forward speed during sleep.

The key result is that sleep replay strengthens the microscopic connections between nerve cells that are active - a process deemed critical for consolidating memories.

The new discoveries provide further evidence for the benefits of a good night's sleep.

Good sleep is important because the bad night sleep often experienced by both the healthy population and people with schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease lead to impaired mental function.

The replayed activity happens in part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is our central filing system for memories.


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