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J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jan;44(1):42-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2009.05.008. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Effects of daytime naps on procedural and declarative memory in patients with schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Christian Albrecht University, Kiel, Germany.


Sleep has been identified as a state that optimizes the consolidation of newly acquired information in memory. Straight memory deficits and sleep disturbances are well-known in patients with schizophrenia. This study tested the hypothesis that patients with schizophrenia have a deficit in procedural and declarative memory consolidation after a short midday nap when compared to healthy controls and patients with remitted to moderate major depression. Following a normal night's sleep, 22 healthy subjects, 20 patients with major depression and 21 patients with schizophrenia were studied in a napping and wake condition in a random-order cross-over design, early in the afternoon. To test declarative memory, the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test respectively the Taylor Complex Figure Test and, for procedural learning, a mirror tracing task were performed. The present study is the first to demonstrate significant differences between individuals with schizophrenia, depression and healthy matched controls with regard to measures of sleep and memory performance after a short period of daytime sleep (napping). In particular we found that a daytime nap of only about 40min led to improvement of declarative memory performance in all investigated groups, whereas no beneficial effect was seen on procedural performance in the group of medicated patients with schizophrenia in contrast to healthy controls and patients with remitted to moderate major depression.

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