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What Your Brain Did While You Were Sleeping

This article is more than 6 years old.
Girl sleeping (Flickr)
Girl sleeping (Flickr)

When we sleep, we disconnect from the world and rest. Right? Our bedrooms might be dark and warm, and if we're lucky we float away from the worries of our lives and wake up refreshed. But even in deep, deep sleep, our brains are working hard.

In fact, a new review of the latest research just published in the journal Nature Neuroscience finds that sleep plays a big role in consolidating our memories. Sleeps helps us sort them, tag them, and divine organizing principals about everything that we take in during our waking hours.

We've known for a long time that sleep is essential to our health. But just in case you need one more reason to hit the sack earlier, here's a little wisdom from a leading researcher on sleep about what exactly the brain does while we snooze.


  • Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR's CommonHealth
  • Dr. Robert Stickgold, leading researcher on sleep and memory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School


This segment aired on January 31, 2013. The audio for this segment is not available.

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