Say you've been cramming for that history test or trying to memorize your sales pitch. You've studied countless hours, and now it's time to catch a couple hours of sleep. You shut your eyes and stop studying, but are you wasting valuable time?
Good Morning Show production assistant Lauren Price explained, "I was driving in my car, and I heard on the radio that if you listen to something as you're sleeping, it will help you remember it. I've been trying to teach myself Spanish, and I'm wondering if this would help me remember the words."
To VERIFY, we consulted Dr. Christine Hagen, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist with Novant Health.
Dr. Hagen said there is not a lot of data on this topic, but what little research exists does suggest you might be able to learn while you sleep.
This is a theory called sleep learning. Dr. Hagen cited a study conducted in the 1950s. It showed after five nights of listening to Russian while sleeping, some men were able to make associations better than they would have if they had just guessed. There are also more recent studies on smell and memories that suggest learning does happen during sleep.
Critics of these studies suggest the participants might not have been fully asleep. Bottom line: Dr. Hagen emphasized sleep is extremely important in organizing what you learned during the day and making it more pertinent.
In conclusion, we verified yes, there is some research suggesting you can learn while you sleep. Just how much learning you can do while sleeping is uncertain. So, before you decide to trade real studying for so-called sleep learning, be forewarned.