When you sleep, your memory improves. Ask any new mother what she thinks about this study and she'll say, "Can you ask me that again? I forgot the question."
But what makes this study different is that it didn't look at procedural memory, such as learning a new task, but instead looked at "declarative memory" or the memory you use to recall events, dates, and facts. What researchers found was that sleeping -- whether disrupted or not -- appeared to strengthen this kind of memory. Those who slept recalled information better than those who were asked to recall it before they went to sleep. This research just adds to the stockpile of information out there that urges students and anyone in an educational setting to get good rest to improve their performance.
My days of being a walking zombie who puts peanut butter in the freezer, goes to the grocery store without her purse (or means to pay for the groceries) and loses her keys on a daily basis are (mostly) behind me. Researchers aren't sure if the effects of sleeplessness are due to lack of sleep or the extended wakefulness, but what is clear is that getting in your zzzz's is an important part of your good health.