Does wakeful resting play a role in consolidating memories?
People perform better on tests of delayed free recall if learning is followed immediately by a short wakeful rest than by a short period of sensory stimulation. Animal and human work suggests that wakeful resting provides optimal conditions for the consolidation of recently acquired memories
Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two distinct ways. First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot learn efficiently. Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.