The memory function of sleep

Susanne Diekelmann, Jan Born*

*Corresponding author for this work
    1539 Citations (Scopus)


    Sleep has been identified as a state that optimizes the consolidation of newly acquired information in memory, depending on the specific conditions of learning and the timing of sleep. Consolidation during sleep promotes both quantitative and qualitative changes of memory representations. Through specific patterns of neuromodulatory activity and electric field potential oscillations, slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep support system consolidation and synaptic consolidation, respectively. During SWS, slow oscillations, spindles and ripples at minimum cholinergic activity coordinate the re-activation and redistribution of hippocampus-dependent memories to neocortical sites, whereas during REM sleep, local increases in plasticity-related immediate-early gene activity at high cholinergic and theta activity might favour the subsequent synaptic consolidation of memories in the cortex.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)114-126
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2010


    Dive into the research topics of 'The memory function of sleep'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this