Sleep Helps Babies Learn, Adults Declutter the Brain

A new study led by Van Savage, PhD, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that deep sleep, known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, is used differently by a baby’s growing brain and an adult’s mature one.

The researchers, who looked at data from dozens of sleep studies involving humans and other mammals, confirmed that babies up to the age of 2½ need REM sleep for their brains to develop. Around 2½ years of age, this activity abruptly stops. From that…

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