Can’t recall a past event? (How’d you sleep?)

Do you ever feel like, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot get enough good, quality sleep?

And so other areas of your life also suffer?

Maybe it means you’re tired and grumpy…

Or worse, you become more forgetful.

Let’s talk about it.

Several factors at play

It’s not “news” that poor sleep can interfere with cognition.

But researchers wanted to broaden their understanding…

Because when it comes to memory recall, often, numerous components come into play. (Think: Who? What? When? Where? Why?)

See, several tiny factors link together in the brain in order to form (and then recall) different aspects of a situation.

That’s why something as simple as a scent might trigger the same memory as the name of a person, and so on.

But in order for the brain to effectively compile each individual concept—and how it directly or indirectly relates to an event—it needs fuel.

And according to a new study, that fuel may be good, quality sleep.

Start prioritizing sleep

For the new study, participants were exposed to events with complex associations.

Then, they either spent the night in a sleep lab, sleeping as usual, or were forced to pull an all-nighter. And the second night was considered a “recovery” night at home.

Turns out, the well-rested subjects were better able to recall multiple aspects of an event after just a single clue—whether or not the clue was directly related to the memory—compared to their sleep-deprived peers.

In addition, researchers analyzed brain activity during sleep and reiterated how memory performance is related to so-called “sleep spindles”—a pattern of brain wave that occurs during non-rapid eye movement sleep.

And without this level of quality sleep, your body fails to reach this stage.

Of course, for those of you who struggle to achieve good sleep, I never recommend sleeping pills.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to wind down quicker—and stay asleep longer—without resorting to drugs, like:

  • Moving your body daily
  • Seeking out sleep-inducing supplements, like melatonin, L-theanine, SAM-e, and more
  • Investing in room-darkening shades or curtains
  • Limiting exposure to blue light

For a more detailed, easy-to-follow plan to help cure your insomnia and enjoy better sleep—I always suggest aiming for seven to nine hours each night—check out my Perfect Sleep Protocol.

Until next time,

Dr. Fred


“Sleep improves ability to recall complex events, shows study.” MDLinx, 02/21/2024. (