Who said naps don’t have bad consequences?

Neuroscientists from UrFU and Germany’s University of Tübingen studied the effect of sleep on the formation and consolidation of fear memory in long-term memory, Neuroscience News reported, citing Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral neuroscience.

Pros and cons

Scientists have found that taking short naps during the day enhances memory of disturbing and frightening events, but it has also been noted that it leads to a strengthening of memory after a period of wakefulness.

The results of the study are expected to be useful in developing strategies for the rehabilitation of people who have been traumatized during natural disasters, military operations and acts of violence.

nap (iStock)

nap (iStock)

transfer of memories

Memory consolidation is the transfer of memories from short-term memory to long-term memory, and it occurs primarily during sleep. Various studies show that falling asleep after learning can have a more positive effect than a negative wake up. This happens by reactivating important memories, which may also be reflected in dreams. The positive effect of sleep can be seen even years later. However, there are currently no studies investigating whether sleep enhances fear memory.

disaster victims

The study attempted to shed light on a question about what happens to fear memories after a period of sleep and wakefulness. “Understanding the impact of sleep in emotionally traumatic situations is important for developing effective strategies for dealing with disaster victims, and people who suffer from panic or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Not sleeping after trauma

Pavlov adds that if it is found that sleep’s effect on fear memory is similar to other types of memory, such as episodic memory (memory of life events), it would be more beneficial for victims not to sleep after trauma.”

Pavlov explains that, in the course of the study’s experiments, “researchers determined that a two-hour nap during the day enhanced fear memories learned just before bed. But a similar effect observed after wakefulness, such as watching an emotionally neutral movie or computer games, similarly enhances fear memories.” .

conditioning fear

Pavlov explains that before and after sleep, participants in the study experiments went through a fear conditioning paradigm. Participants in the experiment first heard a neutral tone, then it was always paired with a loud noise, and no other tone was paired with the noise.

“After multiple pairings, the neutral stimulus elicited an equally strong emotional response on its own. Interestingly, people usually categorize loud noises as more irritating than electric shocks, and it is also often used in fear research.”

When “comparing the tones associated with a very aversive noise with the other tone, [التي تعد] A ‘safe’ signal, the researchers investigated the neural processes behind fear learning. It turns out that fear-learning neural signals improve after a nap, and just as much after a short rest.”

Longer sleep periods

Conditioned responses to fear were studied by EEG before and after a two-hour daytime nap or equal wake period in 18 healthy young adults. Researchers are currently seeking to study how sleep affects human anxiety levels and the formation of fear memories, stressing the importance of more research on the effect of longer sleep on fear memories.

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