top of page

Forgetting through sleep

Forgetting is the price we pay for remembering - Matthew Walker ( Why we Sleep)

An interesting aspect of sleep that I always intuitively knew but recently read more into was forgetting.

Matt Walker says:

the capacity to forget can, in certain contexts, be as important as the need for remembering, both in day-to-day life (e.g., forgetting last week’s parking spot in preference for today’s) and clinically (e.g., in excising painful, disabling memories, or in extinguishing craving in addiction disorders). Moreover, forgetting is not just beneficial to delete stored information we no longer need. It also lowers the brain resources required for retrieving those memories we want to retain, similar to the ease of finding important documents on a neatly organized, clutter-free desk. In this way, sleep helps you retain everything you need and nothing that you don’t, improving the ease of memory recollection.

I’ve been experimenting with playing the guitar these days. I’ve realized practicing late in the night and first thing in the morning actually shows how much of wrong motor-skills that you can’t get rid of consciously are binned over a night’s sleep. Maybe there is somewhere also an incessant tagging in the brain for an action to be marked ‘undesired’. The brain keeps count and shoves it away into the darker areas never to be found.


bottom of page