We've all been there: After struggling over a problem for hours, we rest our eyes for a few minutes and suddenly the answer is lying before us, clear as day. This common phenomenon has contributed to the idea of the so-called power nap, a quick snatch of rest that stops short of deep sleep yet somehow manages to refresh and stimulate…This hypothesis jibes with the current understanding of the essential role that sleep plays in memory formation, says Dr. Suresh Kotagal, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "We are exposed to certain pieces of information, but if we get to sleep on it, the sleep seems to facilitate the transfer of information from the short-term memory bank into the more permanent memory bank," says Kotagal, who was not involved in the study.
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