Getting quality sleep after learning something new can be imperative in retaining the new-found knowledge. A new study shows that it may be even more helpful to sleep sooner after learning.
A group of adolescents were trained in 2 tasks at 3pm and another group at 9pm, followed by a night of sleep. Evaluations were taken at 24 hours and 7 days. The 9pm group was able to recall both of the tasks more effectively after 7 days. This evidence supports the idea that the brain is working actively to consolidate memories while you sleep, and further more that sleeping soon after learning may help even more. Naps can be used effectively throughout the day to not only leave you feeling more refreshed, but also to help your long-term brain power.
The study is new in its field, and more research will be done. The test group had many limits to its data since the participants were adolescents and all female, however the data returned will help researchers in further studies.