Learning in your sleep?

Not satisfied with 3 challenges, 5 listening exercises and an hour of Spanish radio a day, I was wondering about some learning while you sleep methods I’ve seen? (I really, really want to get fluent!). Could I use one of these to complement the SSiS course do you think or could it cause a conflict? Had a quick listen to one on youtube just now and it sounded ok, although the lady’s voice was irritating I guess that wouldn’t bother me if I was asleep.

Does anyone know if they work? Would welcome any thoughts or experience if anyone has some.

My only hesitation at the moment is the part I listened to was teaching “I need to” with the translation being “tengo que” - obviously a slight difference but not sure how much that would matter?

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I remain to be convinced Nikki, but I guess it could be in interesting experiment. I started off in Spanish in a sleep deprived state and still managed to learn stuff, so perhaps actually being asleep could work. As I say though, I’ll let you try it and report back!



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There are absolutely ZERO reputable studies I’m aware of that show ANY benefits at all to any kind of ‘during sleep’ learning.

In fact, it’s far more likely to have a negative impact than anything else - because one thing we do know very clearly is that good sleep is hugely important in the process of memory formation and consolidation - so if your sleep is interrupted at all, your learning will be less successful.

All in all, please don’t do it! :slight_smile:


Thanks Aran, yeah good point about needing good quality sleep. I’ve found just this week when following SSiS challenges I’m not performing as well when tired.

I started to listen to one sleep learning lesson the other night (when I posted the question) and didn’t think I’d be able to get to sleep at all with it playing so didn’t bother.

Will take your advice and shelve the idea and just keep on learning while I’m awake and alert.

Thanks as always

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I’m not doing spanish yet, but like following this discussion. If you want to keep your attention and mental abilities agile and tip-top, then I was at a scientific conference recently and some of the quack things about smoothies and the rest may not be so wacky. Flavanoids, found in cocoa, berries and other fruits really can have a dramatic effect on attention, memory recall and general cognitive function by increasing production of nitric oxide and improving blood flows etc etc. Lots of studies now in this area - so if you’re starting to wane late in the day, then a drink with lots of cocoa or with rasperries, blueberries or even plain old orange juice are supposed to have quite an effect. I’m a cynical scientist as a rule, but who knows - it certainly sounds convincing when you hear the data and the results from various trials where volunteers were monitored with a barrage of tests and monitored using CAT scans etc.

Yup, there’s lots of good stuff going on in nutrition research (just surrounded by lots of wild drama and dodgy claims to help make it hard to track down the good stuff!)… :slight_smile:

Short bursts of intense exercise are another all-round winner for learning…

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Interesting. I seem to take things in from the Challenges best when out for a walk, but that is more like an extended period of relaxed ambling most of the time! :blush: I sometimes get out of breath climbing up a modest incline - does that count?


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Perhaps as a starting point…:wink:

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I understand the scientific reasoning but I’m afraid the psychology of cocoa would win the day - one cup and I’d sleep like a baby lol


I don’t think it would hurt. Certainly not going to help you if you are not already involved in some Spanish language learning though as I would guess your subconscious won’t pick up on anything otherwise. Best thing to become fluent is to simply read 10/15 minuets a day of Spanish interviews, something your interested in preferably. This is because that’s when you can get to grips with the language as it is spoken and experience the language in common usage. Try not to use a dictionary unless is the word is central to the overall meaning of the sentence. You’ll get the jist of things but the continuity of that daily reading will transform your Spanish.

There’s probably zero correlation between the two but I would listen to Welsh podcasts and records while sleeping at bootcamp. Several months after the experience I noticed I was better able to understand spoken Welsh; i.e. I could follow conversations and figure out the meaning of some words in context.

Of course, that likely could be due to Bootcamp itself. I’m interested in whether I could replicate the result with Spanish.


That would be my guess… :wink:

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Before, after or during lessons?

I’m not aware of any research that looks at the timing specifically - just the general concept that intense exercise improves learning… :slight_smile: