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New Discoveries Could Lead To Improved Memory

sleeping pills affect memory

Taking over five years, and a grant of $651,999 to complete, a study has found unprecedented evidence linking a common prescription sleep aid to improved verbal memory. Sara C. Mednick, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside and her team examined the effects that the sleep aids Ambien and Xyrem had on 49 women and men, ranging in age from 18 – 39. The participants were given numerous tests to assess the quality of their memory. Researchers found that those who took Ambien in conjunction with sleeping possessed a much better verbal memory than those who did not.

According to Mednick, “This is the first study to show you can manipulate sleep to improve memory. It suggests sleep drugs could be a powerful tool to tailor sleep to particular memory disorders.” Researchers are still not sure exactly what interaction between the drug and people’s brains produces a better memory. They hope to delve deeper into this aspect of the study going forward. Being able to engineer one’s sleep such that it improves their memory could be extraordinarily advantageous for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other illnesses that affect memory.

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