Disturbed or dysfunctional sleep is a commonly reported symptom of Gulf War Illness (GWI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) –- relatively common disorders among veterans of the last two decades of military service.
According to a USA Today article by Randy Dotinga about the study:
The research doesn't prove that sleep will help you learn more effectively. But it does provide more evidence that your brain doesn't just rest and dream when you're asleep, said study co-author Rebecca Spencer, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Dotinga’s article about the study suggests that important integration of learning takes place during sleep:
Sleep researcher Michael Anch, an associate professor at Saint Louis University, said the study "emphasizes the growing awareness of the importance of sleep for optimal cognitive functioning."
"This study is consistent with other studies suggesting that sleep allows you to integrate learned information from various brain regions, which is not allowable by instant decisions," Anch said. "This gives credence to the notion that if you have a decision to make, sleep on it!"
---Anthony Hardie, Madison, Wis.