Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You Could Do It In Your Sleep

Well, you could learn it while awake, and then sleep to be sure you formed strong memories about it. I'm a fan of sleep. I think it cures a lot of problems. That's why I'm not surprised by the University of Chicago's report that sleep can help you learn.

Of course, the study is also near and dear to my heart because it involved video games. They looked at people playing video games and tested groups that slept in between rounds versus groups that did not. It turns out that the most effective way to learn something is to study, sleep, and then study some more; the test subjects that showed the most improvement were the ones that slept in between rounds.

Sadly, I don't think you can get the same effect from sleeping in class. If it did, my grades would have been much better. Rather, it looks like sleep is a way for your mind to sort and file the information you have learned, so that it can be recalled more effectively later.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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