Sleep spindles, or bursts of brain activity while we are asleep, play a vital role in strengthening new memories, say researchers who found a way to decode and even enhance these brain waves, reports Business Standard.

The findings may lead to new ways to help people remember things better, researchers said. Scientists have long known that sleep spindles – sudden bursts of oscillatory brain activity – play an important role in the formation and retention of new memories.

Sleep spindles are half-second to two-second bursts of brain activity that occur during deep sleep, and can be visualised and measured on an electroencephalogram (EEG). Earlier studies have shown that the number of spindles that occur during the night could predict a person’s memory the next day.