Stage of sleep important for the process of consolidating memories
In the first experiment, the task was an arithmetic task involving working memory.
Sleep-deprived participants performed worse on this task, and the f MRI scan confirmed less activity in the prefrontal cortex for these participants.
Some of the debate in this area concerns the stage of sleep that may be necessary.
The contenders are the deep "slow wave" sleep that occurs in the first half of the night, and "REM" (rapid eye movement) sleep (that occurs while you are dreaming).
The weight of the evidence, however, seems to be coming down on the answer, yes, sleep is necessary to consolidate memories — although maybe for only some types of memory.Most of the research favoring sleep’s importance in consolidation has used procedural / skill memory — sequences of actions.