Is It Possible To Learn New Things While We’re Sleeping?

When we get the right amount of sleep each night it will yield tons of benefits to our bodies: it recharges our biological batteries, boosts memory and mood, and could even reduce the risk of serious diseases.

However, have you ever came across on learning new things while we’re dozing?
Is It Possible To Learn New Things While We're Sleeping?A study conducted last year found out that students were better able to recall foreign words after they’d heard them in their sleep. But the reason why and how still wasn’t clear.
According to The Guardian, neuroscientist Jordan Lewis, he believes that the act of sleeping is helpful in reinforcing what we’ve learnt throughout the day – but he doesn’t think we can take in new information while we’re at it. Current scientific theories suggest that the slow waves passing through our brains as we sleep act as an echo chamber for the memory data we took on board while we were awake.

Is It Possible To Learn New Things While We're Sleeping?

Slow-wave or deep sleep has been recognized for some time as critical for memory consolidation – the stabilization of memory from short-term to long-term. During slow-wave sleep, which tends to happen during the first half of the night, the firing of our brain cells is highly synchronised. When we measure sleep using electrodes attached to the scalp, slow-wave sleep appears as slow, high-amplitude oscillations,” explained Lewis.

Or perhaps it just depends on how far you’re prepared to go to learn something new overnight. However, back in March, a group of French researchers were able to manipulate the memories of sleeping mice – they artificially boosted the positive feelings associated with a certain place while the mice were dozing, and upon waking, the mice wandered straight back to the location in question.

Is It Possible To Learn New Things While We're Sleeping?This shows some form of memory manipulation is possible, but unless you’re a mouse – and you’re prepared to fit electrodes to your head each night – you should probably treat those ‘learn while you sleep’ claims with a fair amount of caution for now.

Our brains have developed a pretty clever mechanism for helping us learn new information. Be kind to your noggin and give yourself enough sleep to take advantage of it,” concluded Lewis.

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