DO you want to learn another language? If so, have your Rosetta Stone play on repeat while you sleep and remember to book your Paris tickets ready for the next day. We have all heard of the idea that playing a recording of some information while you sleep will result in you waking up knowing it. But is it that simple? Well clearly not otherwise je allerais a paris….No. It just isn’t that simple. That’s not to say it does not work entirely because it HAS been shown to work.
IT’S WHEN YOU DO IT THAT MATTERS
Our sleep is broken down into different stages. To keep things simple there are three distinct stages. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is light sleep. Then there is Deep Sleep. And somewhere in between the two there is N2. Why do we need to know this? Well neuroscientists in france carried out a study where they played different patterns tones to participants while they slept. They also monitored what stage of sleep they were in. Then they tested to see whether the participants recognised these tones when they woke up. They found that in REM and N2 sleep, the participants showed strong signs of learning.
DON’T OVERDO IT
An amazing finding was related to deep sleep. The research found that there was no signs of learning in deep sleep. But it didn’t just stop there. What was learned through REM and N2 was effectively wiped out when the participant went into deep sleep. This was true in the majority of the sample.
SHALL I PLAY RECORDINGS OF LECTURES AND SLEEP?
Of course we don’t recommend experimenting with your future prospects. But that’s not to say it is not worth a try. But a safer way of securing positive results would be to play recordings of what you want to learn while you NAP NOT SLEEP. The reason is that you are more likely to stay in REM and N2 when you nap, so there’s more chance of retaining the information.
It remains to be the case that there is plenty that we do not know about learning through sleep. But what we do know is that learning is a unique process for each individual. Whether you choose to work with a private tutor, self-learn or just attend classes we recommend experimenting.