Want a happy new year? The secret is to work on your memory.

By Clinton Marquardt - Sleep & Fatigue Specialist

December 28, 2017

sleep and memory

Research has shown over and over that sleep and memory are tightly linked.  Poor sleep makes it harder to remember.  This is why pulling an all-nighter to get a project completed in time for a morning presentation is a bad idea.  You will forget what you wanted to say and the presentation will flop.

Santa getting the sleep he needs to be happyBut did you know that sleep, memory and happiness are also linked?  Researchers found that sleep deprived people have a harder time remembering positive emotional words than negative emotional words compared to people who got the sleep they needed.  The difference was striking; there was a 59% deficit for positive words compared to only a 19% deficit for negative words[1].

Now imagine how you would feel if all your memories are negative.  Happiness won’t be easy. This is probably what happens when you don’t get the sleep you need. You wake up remembering all the bad stuff in your life and this chases away any hope at a happy life.

If you want a happy new year, make it easier to remember all the positive aspects of your life by consistently getting the sleep you need.  Here are a few tips to help you get the sleep you need, and have a happy new year:

  1. New Year’s Eve Sleep
  2. Anchor Your Sleep to Stay Healthy
  3. Effective Ways to Control Snoring
  4. Stimulus Control for Better Sleep
  5. Sleep Restriction Therapy for Better Sleep
  6. CPAP Tips – Making Your CPAP Experience a Positive One
  7. Sleep Hygiene – Great Tips to Sleep Through the Stress
  8. Exercise and Sleep – “Working Out” a Way to Get a Good Sleep
  9. Bright Light Therapy – Feel Like it’s Summer All Year Long
  10. 7 Steps to a Better Nap


[1] For a discussion of this research see:  Walker, M., & Stickgold, R. (2006).  Sleep, memory, and plasticity.  Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 139-166.

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