The Role of Napping in the Consolidation of Clinically-Relevant Information in Non-Depressed and Depressed Participants

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Lo, Edwyn
Sleep , Nap , Depression , Memory , Memory Consolidation , Napping , Cognition
The hypothesis that sleep may have beneficial effects on memory consolidation has been widely reported for many years (Jenkins & Dallenbach, 1924; Van Ormer, 1933; Fowler, Sullivan, & Ekstrand, 1973). Since then, these findings regarding improved memory retention have also been extended to shorter napping periods (Tucker et al., 2006). Given the memory impairments commonly displayed in individuals with depression (Bearden et al., 2006), this study aimed to explore the impacts of napping on memory consolidation in depressed individuals. Specifically, this study attempted to mimic the educational aspect of cognitive remediation therapy to explore whether napping can be beneficial to memory retention of clinically-relevant information in depressed individuals. To simulate the didactic portion of cognitive remediation, we developed a clinically-relevant memory test using a psychoeducational video that introduces the effects of depression on cognition. Subsequently, we determined whether a napping period can benefit the consolidation of this clinically-relevant material in depressed and non-depressed individuals. We found no differences in memory performance over time between individuals who napped and individuals who stayed awake. However, we did observe associations between several sleep parameters and the degree of memory decay. The findings of this study contribute to the understanding of the relationship between napping and memory consolidation in individuals with depression and may provide a more ecologically valid style of memory testing for future studies.
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