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Sleep restriction over several days does not affect long-term recall of declarative and procedural memories in adolescents

Voderholzer, U., Piosczyk, H., Holz, J., Landmann, N., Feige, B., Loessl, B., Kopasz, M., Doerr, J.P., Riemann, D. and Nissen, C. (2011) Sleep restriction over several days does not affect long-term recall of declarative and procedural memories in adolescents. Sleep Medicine, 12 (2). pp. 170-178.

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There is broad evidence that sleep as opposed to waking facilitates the consolidation of both declarative and procedural memory. The current study addressed the question whether different extents of sleep restriction after learning would impair long-term memory consolidation in adolescents.

Eighty-eight healthy adolescents were randomized to five different sleep protocols with 9, 8, 7, 6 or 5 h of time in bed for four consecutive nights under controlled conditions that excluded daytime sleep. Declarative (word-pair task) and procedural memory (mirror tracing task) encoding was assessed prior to the sleep restriction protocol. Recall was assessed after two recovery nights following the sleep protocol and 4 weeks later.

Sleep diaries and actigraphy data demonstrated that the participants closely followed the sleep protocols. There were no differences in demographic parameters or memory encoding at baseline. In contrast to the initial prediction, restriction of nocturnal sleep over four consecutive nights had no significant impact on declarative or procedural memory consolidation. Polysomnographic monitoring after sleep restriction demonstrated a high preservation of the amount of slow wave sleep in the restricted conditions.

The results suggest that adolescents show a high resilience of memory consolidation to substantial sleep curtailment across four nights that might be promoted by increased sleep intensity under conditions of sleep restriction.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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