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A good night’s sleep helps you recall names and faces

Remembering faces and the names associated with them is one of those things some people just aren’t good at. But a new study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts shows a full night of sleep can help you recall people’s names.

The study is the first of its kind to examine whether a full night’s sleep, as opposed to naps, affects learning and memory. Participants were shown 20 photos of faces labelled with names. They came back 12 hours later and were shown the same 20 photos, some of which were labelled incorrectly. Researchers found participants were 12% more accurate in determining if the corresponding name was correct or wrong after getting a full night’s sleep.

While the research was conducted with only 14 participants – all in their 20s and in good health – study author Jeanne Duffy says the findings might have a larger impact on older people.

“As people get older, they are more likely to develop sleep disruptions and sleep disorders, which may in turn cause memory issues,” she says.

This is bad news for the quarter of Brits who only get five hours of sleep or less, but recalling your boss’s new client’s name is reason enough to start counting sheep.

Read the original article from Boston magazine at