Nocturnal sleep apparently promotes the translation of labile
short-term memories into more stable long-term memories. The
present studies suggest that the sleep-related consolidation of
hippocampus-mediated memories benefits primarily from early
nocturnal sleep. A reduced activation of hippocampal glucocorticoid
receptors and a neocortico-hippocampal 'off-line' mode during this
part of sleep may be of particular relevance for this phenomenon.
In contrast, non hippocampus-mediated memories benefit primarily
from late nocturnal sleep. In addition to a critical amount of REM
sleep, other, yet unknown factors may contribute to the
consolidation of non hippocampus-mediated memories during late
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