A total of 216 babies under 12 months took part in the experiment. They were taught 3 new tasks every day. Just after that, half of them got a 4 hour sleep, whilst the rest would either sleep just for a few minutes or nothing at all.
Next day, the research team asked the babies to repeat the tasks the learnt the previous day and the results they got were stricking. The babies that took a long nap were able to repeat an average of one task and a half. However, the babies that didn’t get any sleep were not able to repeat any of them. Hence, they didn’t learn them.
Out of these research, they concluded that sleep is essential for learning, particularly during our early years. They also believe that resting has a way more important role at that age than for adults, which would explain why we spend way more time sleeping at that stage in our life. However, that hypothesis still needs to get proven.
What we do know for sure is that sleeping after finding out something new improves our learning skills. That’s why it’s great to read before going to bed and we should promote children to do so too.