Sleep disorders can have an unexpected consequence according to a recent study, which reveals that Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep can enhance problem-solving skills.
The finding of the research that REM sleep improves creative processing was carried out by researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System, led by Dr Sara Mednick, assistant professor of psychiatry
UC San Diego department of psychology graduate student Denise Cai, who also authored the report, commented: "Although the quiet rest and non-REM sleep groups received the same prior exposure to the task, they displayed no improvement on the RAT test."
"Strikingly, however, the REM sleep group improved by almost 40 per cent over their morning performances."
REM consists of two categories - either tonic or phasic - and typically accounts for up to two hours of a person's average night's sleep.
The form of deep sleep was discovered by Kleitman and Aserinsky during the 1950s.