Miss a night’s sleep; forget that day’s training?

by on August 21, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

If a worker suffers a bout of insomnia, he’ll probably forget what he learned that day. And similarly, regular sleep patterns after training may help “consolidate” some kinds of memories and improve recall later.

That’s the upshot of what researchers found after the following experiment: They tested something called “discrimination learning” – the ability to tell one thing from another (they used artists’ paintings).

They kept one group of trainees up for 30 straight hours after training, and then let them have two days of normal sleep at night. A second group slept three normal nights. The first group showed no improvement in learning; the second group’s recall improved.

Implications for safety trainers: It sounds simple, but it’s important – remind workers to get plenty of sleep. It may affect their ability to recall training later (or on-the-job learning) – even after a couple of days of normal rest.

Source: Kornell, Nate, et al., “Discrimination Learning: Training Methods,” in press, Paschler, H. (ed), Encyclopedia of the Mind. 2012: Thousand Oaks press.

photo credit: CarbonNYC

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