For many years, scientists tried to learn why people need sleep every day, about one third of the day. Two important studies show that one of the purposes of sleep is to forget some memories and remember those that may need it in the future.
In the study, scientists put mice in a small cage and then hit their weak attack power. Then one group of mice were given a potent drug, which prevented them from sleeping, and the second slept well.
After that mice placed in new aviary. Rested group after some time began to explore as a group under the influence of the drug constantly lingered in anticipation of the shock.
According to the researchers, this means that mouse that was under the influence of the drug, are unable to forget the memories associated with shock. The brain “sleepy” mice contained all the memories that mouse got in during the day.
This happened because the drug interfered in a process known as “folding” (scaling down), which is considered the key to forgetting some of the memories and ordering others.
One of the researchers, Dr. Graham Diering, says: “We believe that the memory of the shock was stronger in mice who received the drug because their synapses could not be folding because of wakefulness, but all kinds of other memories also remained strong, so the mouse was confused and could not easily distinguish between the two enclosure.
This suggests that sleep clarifies and organizes your memories and ideas. During sleep the brain is not idle, and has an important job to do what we in the developed world usually neglected, saving the dream.”
The researchers also tested what happens to synapses in the brain of mice during sleep and wakefulness. It turned out that synapses grow during waking hours, and then decreased during sleep by approximately 20%. In addition, approximately 20% of synapses did not change its size. According to the researchers, they help to keep the most important memories.