Lack of sleep leads to false memories
Not getting enough sleep may increase the likelihood of forming false memories, according to new research.
In the study, sleep-deprived people who were shown photographs of a crime being committed and then read false information about the photos were more likely to report remembering the false details in the photos than were those who got a full night's sleep.
The participants who viewed the photos before staying up all night, however, were no more susceptible to false memories than those who had been allowed to sleep.
The findings suggested that getting five hours of sleep or less was associated with the formation of false memories.
"Over the years I noticed that whenever I had a bad night's sleep, my perception and memory seemed to get fuzzy until I had a good recovery sleep," explained psychological scientist Steven J. Frenda from University of California, Irvine.
Recent studies suggest that people are getting fewer hours of sleep on average, and chronic sleep deprivation is on the rise.
"We are running new experiments in order to better understand the influence of sleep deprivation on processes related to false memory," Frenda concluded in a paper published in the journal Psychological Science.
(Posted on 24-07-2014)