Sleep and Memory

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Sleep and Memory Maria del Rocio Gutierrez University of Texas at Brownsville Sleep and Memory We can define sleep as a period of rest and we can define immediate memory as an organism’s ability to store, retain, and subsequently retrieve information. Therefore if the organism rests for a period of time the ability to store, retain and retrieve information will be improved. This study will focus on how sleeping a minimum of 7 hours a day will reflect a notorious improvement in memory.

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We will also be able to compare if women have better memory than men, if there is a significant difference between these two groups; age will also be compared, we will be able to see if younger people are able to have a better memory than older people. This study will also help us understand the importance of resting on daily bases so we can have a good performance in our daily activities. Past Research Previous Researches have showed that sleep has an impact episodic memory in the long run. Researchers used up to 8 hours of sleep.There were used sixty university students, which were asked not to smoke or drink caffeine during daytime. Students had to do this procedure 12 hours before the experiment. During the experiment 56 words were presented individually to the students on a computer monitor. Two tests were given to the participants. In the first test students were given 10 minutes to see how many words were recalled. Several words were shown to the participants. The second test was 10 minutes as well, with the difference that fourteen text fields were with the category labels were presented simultaneously on a computer.It was found that more words were recalled when they were not categorized, and that students who slept 7 hours had a higher recall of words ,(Olaf ; Reinhard P. ,2007). The importance of this research is to demonstrate how students who slept 7 hours could recall easy words given to them during the experiment, (Lahl ; Pietrowsky, 2007). Previous researches discovered that sleep improves memory, and that also neuronal activity and regional blood flow during sleep form part of an improvement of memory during the day, (Morgrass, Guillem ; Godbout, 2008).Participants were required to have a night of sleep, there were no other restrictions like in the above study mentioned. Researchers tested the participants twice to control the effect of practice. Participants were tested in the morning and late afternoon. Each test lasted 15 minutes; there were presented different photographs of faces taken in the same condition. Researchers divided their sample into two groups, one slept in the laboratory used and the other group slept at their home. Researchers found no significance difference in recalling memory between one group and another.Researchers found that daytime session questionnaire was higher than those in the afternoon. The importance of this experiment is that researchers show us there is no significance improvement in memory whether they sleep at home or at a clinic, but there is a difference if the participant just rested or if the participant was already awake (Mograss ; Guillem ; Godbout, 2008). Previous researches done reflect that a deprivation of sleep would affect memory. These researchers mention that the amygdale modulates the consolidation of long term memory by influencing other areas that are involved in memory processing.Researchers used twenty-four volunteers, all of them were students of medicine. Students needed to have a regular sleep schedule for a week and no caffeine for at least 4 days before the experiment. Participants were tested two times, in the morning and at night. Researchers used a shopping list of 16 items presented five times to the participants. Complex figures were presented as well. Participants were given different tests such as Corsi block-tapping test, coding test, emotional odball paradigm, digit span test and word stem test. All of these tests involved words, figures or object recall.Researchers found that memory function may be influenced by log time deprivation periods (Saxvig, Lundervold, Gronli, Ursin, Bjorvatan ; Portas, 2008). Lahl, , Wispel. , Willigens ; Pietrowsky (2007) researched on how a nap can improve memory; where the naps would take from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. Researchers wanted to know if a nap would help improve memory. There were 26 university students used as participants. Half of them were men and half women. Students were required to have a regular night sleep. It was not allowed the used of psychoactive medication or the participation of students with sleep-related problems.Each participant needed to wake up no later than 8:00 o’clock in the morning and do not ingest alcoholic beverages or caffeine. The students were put to sleep and were monitored. After 50 minutes they were woken up and tested for recall. Picture card games, games requiring visuomotoric skills and mathematical strategies were utilized. Researchers found that after taking a nap the student’s memory would improve. This research is important because it shows us how young students recall was improved after sleeping. Previous researchers were interested in the process of unlearning or reverse learning during sleep.Fifty university students of different ages were used in the research. Students were randomly selected in groups were they slept during night, or students who slept during day and were eventually woken up. They had to be non-smokers, not be using any kind of any kind of psychoactive medication, not have any psychiatric illness, not using alcohol or drugs, they had to be non-smokers and also restricted from napping during the day at least 12 hours before the experiment. During the experiment the participants were given twenty-four neutral photographs of everyday objects.The first group was tested between 0:00 hrs and 7:00 hours and the second group was tested between 9:00 hours and 16:00 hours. Researchers found that participants memory was improved after sleeping (Lahl ; Pietrosky, 2007). Overview of the Current Study Our study wanted to show the improvements in memory through sleep. We were trying to prove our hypotheses through our experiment. This study will benefit people by creating a consciousness about how crucial it is to have enough sleep, if there is a difference in with memory between men and women, and how important it is to keep a good memory through age.The studies mentioned above have a gap where they do not reflect an exact improvement mentioned by the participants, the literature needed more statistical information. Our Three research hypotheses are: RQ1: People who sleep more than seven hours have better memory than people who sleep less than seven hours. RQ2: Gender is related to memory, females will have better memory than men. RQ3: Younger people will have better memory than older people These hypotheses were derived from the studies made on previous researches, who found that sleep has a beneficial effect in memory.We believe the human being must always try to improve memory, it is primordial to have all of our memories available whenever we need them. We believe that a human being can develop in a better way if their memory is well functioning. Method Participants In this study college students will be participating. We hope to have 20 females and 20 males. All of the participants will be students from the University of Texas at Brownsville. Materials Informed Consent Form. An informed consent form will be used in which participants will be informed regarding the materials and procedure(s) used in the study.Students will be assured anonymity and will be given contact information if any question may arise (see Appendix A). Demographic Questionnaire. This questionnaire will collect participant’s demographic information (e. g. age, ethnicity, year in school, etc. ). The purpose of the Demographic Questionnaire will strictly be used to gather basic information of who the participants are and any other needed demographic information related to this study (see Appendix B). Memory Word List. 15 words will be presented to each student. They will have one minute to look at them, afterwards they will be asked to write down the ones they remember. see Appendix C). Debriefing Form. The final material used in this study will be a verbal and written debriefing form. This material will help us as researchers to study the immediate term memory and see if people who sleep at least 7 hours a day have a better memory. (see Appendix D) Procedure The procedure taken in this study will be as follows. The principal investigator of the study will hand out a written informed consent to inform the participants the purpose, benefits and length of time the study will take to complete.Once participants agree to participate, the Demographic Questionnaire will be administered to expedite the completion of the task. Following the completion of the demographics each student will be presented 15 words for a time of 1 minute, next they will write down on a separate sheet of paper as many words as they can recall in 1 minute. Once participants have completed the task they will be orally debriefed, thanked and dismissed. The total time to complete the study for each participant will be less than 10 minutes. ResultsThe first hypothesis indicated that there would be a significant difference in memory between people who slept seven hours or more (M=8. 14, S. D. =1. 96), and people who slept less than seven hours (M= 8. 14, S. D. = 2. 26). The results showed that there was no significance difference between these two variables. A T-test was used to compare these two groups (see figure 1). The second prediction stated that there would be a difference between gender and memory. Women would recall more words than men. It was found that males (M=1. 67, S. D. = . 48) recalled less words than women (M=1. 78, S. D. =. 4). A T- test was used to compare these two groups The final hypothesis predicted that age was related with memory. People with age of eighteen to twenty five were considered as younger participants (M=29. 71, S. D. =7. 11), people with age twenty six and above were considered as older participants (M=32, S. D. =11. 56). A T-test was used to compare these two groups. | Discussion The findings for this research did not support our hypotheses. According to other researches or previous literature, people who did not sleep 7 hours or more would have difficulties with memory (Lahl ; Pietrosky, 2007).The literature used for this research did not support our hypotheses because our results did not reflect a significant difference between people who did sleep 7 hours or more hours and those who did not sleep 7 or less hours. We could not find similarities with previous studies. Such studies reflected a significant difference. The same issue happened with our two other hypotheses. Our second hypothesis did not reflected a significant difference between men and women’s memory. Our third hypothesis did not show a significant difference as well.There was no remarkable difference between young people and older people; we classified young people from age 18 through age 25, and older people from age 26 and above. We did notice two major limitations during the experiment. The most important is the amount of participants in the research. We believe that in order to have a significant difference a minimum of 100 participants should be used for the research. Having more participants will give more information to compare with. Our amount of participants were 30 students, which gives very little information and does not help to reflect a significant difference.Another issue was the uneven amount of men and women. We feel there should be a balanced number to reflect a significant difference. Our findings are important because the results are not the same as all of the other studies, this means that there could be a probability that our study could make a difference in researches of this type. Future research will involve again memory and sleep, but we will increase the number of participants and consider the time of the day to test participants. 317.