A new study from Harvard University strongly suggests that sleep enhances memory and learning in humans, and this finding has major implications for zombie research. Though one existing theory argues that zombies also sleep, it’s generally believed that the undead never actually rest in their constant search for fresh meat. Therefore, a zombie’s inability to develop new skills may have much more to do with its insomnia than its potential to learn.
Harvard study coauthor, Robert Stickgold, explains:
“I was startled by this finding. Task-related dreams get triggered by the sleeping brain’s attempt to consolidate challenging new information and to figure out how to use it.”
As previously discussed, zombies must possess some level of memory and learning to navigate through the world. Believing that a zombie can’t learn anything is the same as believing that it can’t cross a street it’s never seen, or enter a new building. Making the basic choices needed to move about requires constant low-level learning. But if zombies don’t sleep at all, then their ability to collect data and cognitively advance may be shot.
By endlessly hunting humans, the undead are essentially robbing themselves of the chance to become even deadlier hunters. So if you ever see a zombie nodding off for a quick nap, you might want to think about waking it up. A sleeping zombie is a learning zombie, and nobody wants that.