We all know that you need to sleep and sleep well in order for clear cognition. And with the summer blockbuster movie, “Inception,” the power of our dreams as a learning and teaching tool is becoming an increasingly popular concept.
Dreams have long been heralded into the secret windows of our psyches and future. Everyone from ancient sages to modern philosophers have recognized the mysterious ability for dreams to provide answers to problems, foretell events and bring clarity to a perplexing situation.
When it comes to learning, students have longed for a way to sleep and learn. In fact, sleep learning is a student’s dream, (with the pun intended).
So exactly what is sleep learning?According to the Society for Neuroscience, recent advances in science have led researchers to carry out a variety of careful studies in both humans and animals, which provide clear evidence that sleep is indeed important for at least some types of memory and learning. In particular it seems to secure memories, termed procedural memories, which help people learn skills.
Sleep learning, which is sometimes referred to as sleep teaching, is a process whereby the person listens to a recording while asleep in attempt to instill knowledge. It is like a cross between learning and hypnosis that taps into your subconscious. Concepts, key messages and ideas are repeated over and over so that they become embedded into the subconscious mind. The theory of sleep learning stands that while our conscious mind might fall off while we sleep, our unconscious mind does not. In this sense, our brain is still fully operating and it is during this state that the repetition of sleep learning bestows its benefits.
Dr. Laverne C. Johnson of the United States Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric Research Unit suggests that “information processing during sleep is summarized, and published reports lead to the conclusion that the sleeping brain does receive, process and perhaps even store information presented during sleep.”
Most sleep learning devices come in the form of a CD or audio recording that you play while you sleep. From weight loss hypnosis to quitting smoking and from learning Spanish to gaining the confidence to deliver a stellar presentation, with so many sleep learning recordings, you can make your night’s rest very productive.
We at EDUInReview.com haven’t tested any specific sleep-learning devices, nor have we come across any recent studies that suggest sleep learning should take the place of studying. Therefore, we can’t at this time recommend foregoing the libary for the mall or bar and instead relying solely on a CD that you pop in at night to prepare you for your exam the following day. But we do encourage quality studying time and a quality night’s rest before test day.