Your body may be resting while you sleep, but your brain is pretty busy! During sleep, you actually solidify memories and even “practice” skills you learned that day! It’s a process called consolidation, and makes the habit of pulling all-nighters before tests make less sense.
“If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.”