Sleep to Remember

J Neurosci. 2017 Jan 18;37(3):457-463. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0297-16.2017.


Scientific investigation into the possible role of sleep in memory consolidation began with the early studies of Jenkins and Dallenbach (1924). Despite nearly a century of investigation with a waxing and waning of interest, the role of sleep in memory processing remains controversial and elusive. This review provides the historical background for current views and considers the relative contribution of two sleep states, rapid eye movement sleep and slow-wave sleep, to offline memory processing. The sequential hypothesis, until now largely ignored, is discussed, and recent literature supporting this view is reviewed.

Keywords: REM sleep; locus coeruleus; memory; noradrenaline; replay; slow-wave sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Waves / physiology
  • Humans
  • Memory Consolidation / physiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Sleep / physiology*