SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Born, how long have you yesterday night sleep?
Born: Seven Hours.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: is that a good Enough working time for your memory?
Born: That’s enough, and on a single night, it is anyway not to.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: How is the memory while you sleep is formed?
Born: To be content in the long-term memory is solidified. On the other hand, the information that were taken during the day are filtered. What is relevant, and what you can safely forget? In this selection process, the brain decides what information it needs, so that we are optimally adapted to our environment. What is important for our future conduct? For the implementation of our plans?
MIRROR ONLINE: The instance in the brain assesses and arranges the information so.
Born: Yes, and this can also be shown. In one Experiment, subjects had to learn vocabulary. But sleep increased only in those of the memory for the vocabulary, the knew beforehand that the vocabulary would be queried at a later time. On the other hand, the words were deleted as useless Knowledge.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: But there is not always someone who proclaims what information will be relevant to be.
Born: Correctly, the criteria according to which the brain decides what Information in his sleep in the long term, is stored, we do not know exactly. We suspect that the brain filters out during sleep is called the invariant of Information and conceptual representations formed. Children are flooded in the first years of life with incredibly many new Stimuli, and you need to sleep therefore much, to be able to this amount of information to cope with and Norway to be filtered out.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: do you Have an example?
Born: children will see the variety of occasions on different streets, that there is sometimes a red light in a box lights up. And if the lights, then mom or dad stay with the kids car. The kids save now this specific Information and filter out from the various repetitions of this experience, a conceptual representation: A red light means that you have to remain standing.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: And this happens while sleeping?
Born: Yes, let’s go today. We have found in studies indications that we could think of without sleep is neither a language, including its conceptual terminologies, and grammatical rules to learn in the abstract.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: During sleep, therefore, on the other hand, forget what is irrelevant?
Born: It is a lot to indicate the way. Unnecessary detail is sorted out know, and what we often hear, see, learn, summarize, and keep it. We save that Berlin is the capital of Germany. When and in what context we have this Information for the first Time hear, we forget. The capacity of the brain, things to store is very large, but not unlimited.
LEVEL of KNOWLEDGE about our memory: This is what awaits you in the book
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Can memory be improved by the brain for this process is simply more time and prefer to longer sleeps?
Born: no, that does not work, more than sleep you can’t. But Vice versa is true: If you sleep only for five hours, then the memory performance will be reduced. We take a look across species: There are Drosophila flies, which are bred so that they only sleep short. And in fact, these flies are less intelligent than other Drosophila, the sleep longer.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: In the night before an important exam you should therefore long to sleep?
Born: no, because fuel is better in the evening, before that time, a lot of information to you the next day, on as much Knowledge to draw upon. On the anchoring of long-term memory, it is in this Situation, Yes less. Sleep they should be but still.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: In which phase of sleep is the memory because formed?
Born: Earlier it was believed that the passing in the Rapid-Eye-Movement Phase, because we dream of. And the presumption was that the dream images caused by the reactivation and storage of experience or new Knowledge. But that is not correct. Our studies show that the consolidation of memory contents and their storage takes place in long-term memory mainly in the deep sleep, which is also referred to as Delta sleep, and is particularly pronounced at the beginning of the night.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: That is to say, dreams with the memory of nothing to do?
Born: no, they are probably a waste product of the activity of the brain, and the dreams we remember, occur in the rule, if the brain is Waking up.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Since the deep sleep for memory is so important: How can you improve it?
Born: In people aged forty years, takes to the deep sleep continuously from. Eighty-year-old just sleep a little deep. In Parallel, also the amount of memory decreases the content that can be re-formed. Fortunately, older people have knowledge very much, so that you can associate new information relatively quickly. Therefore, you don’t need so much sleep. Nevertheless, you can also improve in this age, the deep sleep still by activating during the day, such as by mental exertion or by Sport, and then in the evening, just tired is. Who is more active during the day, sleep at night deeper. You should stop with the activities but some time before falling Asleep. Jogging before going to bed is counterproductive.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is a glass of red wine be helpful?
Born: This is always a question of dose. A small amount will help to fall Asleep, a large amount of disturbs the deep sleep. And in a large quantity, it comes after the removal of the alcohol in addition to a Hypo, allowing you to Wake up then.