Sleep and Memory–Two Peas in a Pod


February 14, 2023 3 MIN READ

Sleep and Memory

Sleep and MemorySleep and Memory–Two Peas in a Pod

While you sleep, your brain is cleaning house and consolidating the day’s input. Without sufficient, quality sleep, your brain cannot carry out these crucial tasks, allowing toxins to build up and cause cognitive issues like memory loss, potentially leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s. See how sleep and memory go together.

Sleep and Your Memory

Getting sufficient sleep is no less critical for your well-being than a healthy diet or appropriate hydration. Rest and recovery aid in processing new information, assembling it into memories your brain will store.

And while science has yet to entirely understand the relationship between sleep and memory, there is ample evidence and research to demonstrate the link.

According to the 2018 National Academy of Sciences proceedings, after only one night of poor sleep, beta-amyloid, a metabolic waste product, can build up in areas of the brain, including the amygdala, which manages memory, mood, emotion, and learning ability.

The amygdalae sustain critical neural pathways with the hypothalamus, which manages essential biological systems like circadian rhythm, the menstrual cycle, and sleep.

These neural pathways connect the hippocampus (an essential player in processing memories) to other areas of the brain and store episodic memories, particularly events, their location, and associated emotions.

Getting the Right Sleep

Although the amount of time you sleep is essential, the complex relationship between sleep and memory necessitates a sleep cycle of four distinct stages.

First, there are two stages of light sleep (NREM) before deep or “slow-wave” NREM sleep which readies your brain for new learning the next day. Simultaneously, your brain sorts through recollections of the previous day, selecting those to retain and solidify and others to discard.

This process of strengthening memories during NREM continues into REM sleep (the fourth sleep stage), where our emotional memories assemble.

What Else Happens?

Along with memory loss and the long-term risks of dementia, poor or insufficient sleep can impact creativity, problem-solving, judgment, and emotional response.

Poor sleep strains the neurons in your brain, degrading their performance and making normal brain function difficult. This condition is similar to being drunk, as it impairs thinking and reaction time.

Things like learning, motor skills, keeping rhythm, and problem-solving, can become challenging. You will be more likely to make uncharacteristic, risky choices and errors.

Without enough sleep, your learning potential can decrease by 40%.

The effects of sleep deprivation can vary from person to person, as some may be more at risk for cognitive impairment and memory loss due to genetics. But generally, sleep-deprived individuals are at risk for issues like:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Narrowing Blood Vessels
  • Immune System Deficiencies
  • Infertility
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • and More …

Virtually every biological system, function, and all aspects of your wellness thrive with a healthy, regular sleep cycle and suffer from the lack of quality sleep.

There is no upside to sleeping poorly.


Poor sleep will significantly diminish your memory and cognitive abilities, regardless of the cause or duration. Even a single night of lousy sleep has negative impacts the next day and likely beyond.

Over time, your abbreviated sleep schedule may feel normal, but that does not alter your body’s physical needs or its biological and nervous systems’ requirements for rest and recovery.

Your day-to-day life will be more stressful, anxious, and unproductive without the necessary rejuvenation of your brain and other crucial systems from adequate sleep.

The serious health issues arising from continued poor sleep can greatly degrade your quality of life, steal your vitality, and potentially contribute to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

What Can You Do?

Understanding the reasons for your sleep issues is essential for moving past them. Learning how to control your mindset and developing strategies to help you fall and stay asleep can be challenging.

There is a lot to know about sleep, and Sleep Science Academy can help you gain the insights that you need for better sleep. But don’t take our word for it; here is what some well-rested clients say.

Gavin’s Sleep Science Success Story

From Stressful Nights to Consistent Sleep

Ranjan’s Sleep Science Success Story

From Erratic Sleep to a Full 8 Hours


The consequences of not getting adequate quality sleep are far-reaching and can be life-altering. Sleep science Academy focuses on helping people gain more restful quality sleep and live a long-lasting healthier life through our uniquely successful program.

Contact us today to learn more and schedule your complimentary consultation to end insomnia.

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