4 Things You Can Learn While You Sleep

1 - Words in other languages

Recent research has experimented with some German-speaking volunteers. Just before bedtime, they learned a few new words in Dutch. One of the volunteer groups listened to a recording with those same words while sleeping. The other group slept without any interference.

Then the researchers tested the participants' memory, and those who stayed in the group that listened to the words over and over were better able to identify Dutch entries. Scientists had the other group hear the words too, only awake, to prove that sleep was more effective at memorizing entries. In fact, those who heard the words while doing awake tasks remembered them much less.

2 - Musical Skills

Inspired by the game Guittar Hero, a group of scientists taught some guitar techniques to a group of volunteers. Then they all took a nap and when they woke up they had to touch what they had learned earlier. Unbeknownst to them, a group of people listened during the sleep to the same song they had learned - guess what? This group was the best when it came time to play the song later.

3 - Remember where you kept something

A study done in 2013 tested memory skills of a group of participants. Basically, they used a computer program through which they needed to hide a virtual object at a specific place on the screen. When they placed the object in the right place, they heard a certain noise. Then, as you can imagine, the participants slept, only now twice in a row.

In the first nap, everything is normal. During the second, however, they heard the same sound they heard as they performed the activity of hiding the object - no one remembered hearing the sound while sleeping.

The fact is that after the naps people remembered little about the task of hiding the object, but after the second nap they remembered much more about the location of the object.

4 - How to keep special memories

If the idea is not to forget something specific, perhaps what you need to do is what this study revealed: to hear some sound that reminds you of the memory you want to keep cool, even if that sound is unpleasant.

The researchers asked a group of volunteers to place icons on a computer desktop - each icon had a specific location. Almost like in the previous experiment, when each icon was positioned in the right place, the volunteers heard a certain noise. Then sleep time. Half of the volunteers slept normally, while the other half heard the same sounds again.

Those who heard the sounds not only remembered the location of the icons, but could also remember the memories that were tied to those sounds. Bizarre, right?


What would you like to learn while you sleep? Comment on the Mega Curious Forum