A new study reveals that babies process and store memories during the many naps which they take during the course of the day.
Study author Sabine Seehagen, a child and adolescent psychology researcher with Ruhr University Bochum in Germany said, “We discovered that sleeping shortly after learning helps infants to retain memories over extended periods of time. In both of our experiments, only those infants who took an extended nap for at least half an hour within four hours after learning remembered the information.”
Though the study does not confirm that the naps help in retention of the memories, but the researchers believe that this is exactly what is happening.
The study involved two experiments and in each one babies aged in between 6 months to 12 months were taught how to remove mittens from animal puppets. Some of the babies took a nap after half –hour while some did not. Total 216 babies were tested.
The researchers later tested if the babies remembered how to remove the mittens 24 hours later. The researchers found that only those babies who had taken naps after learning actually remembered what they had learnt after 24 hours.
The researchers found that only the babies who’d taken naps after learning actually remembered what they’d learned, especially after 24 hours.
Angela Lukowski, an assistant professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine said, “The small number of studies makes it difficult to make firm recommendations to parents. The lesson for parents seems to be that napping after learning may help infants remember information over time.”