In this post, I’m sharing a chapter from my extensive online course Getting Behaviour! The video below is one of the 108 similar chapters from the course.
The video discusses why training sessions should be shorter rather than longer, and why training more than once a day may in some cases actually hurt your training; sleep consolidates memory, so a second same-day training session may interfere with the consolidation of the first training session.
I had one great question to this chapter: “If sleep is important to consolidate learning, is it only extended sleep (overnight sleep)? Many animals have short sleep periods during the daytime. Don’t naps contribute to learning consolidation?”
Here’s what the research says: “After a comparatively brief sleep episode, subjects that take a nap improve more on a declarative memory (knowing what) task than subjects that stay awake, but that improvement on a procedural memory task (knowing how) is the same regardless of whether subjects take a nap or remain awake. Slow wave sleep was the only sleep parameter to correlate positively with declarative memory improvement.”
Extended sleep is also needed for procedural memory consolidation, though..!
There are three sleep stages.
- Stage 1: eyes closed, easy to wake.
- Stage 2: light sleep. Heart rate down, temperature drops.
- Stage 3: deep sleep – this is when declarative memory consolidation occurs – and we typically don’t get to this stage during short naps.
How to end a training session is another hot topic, and one that I discuss in another chapter of the course! 😉
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