Learning Strategies Blog

Learn Faster with Sleep

by Pete Bissonette

Want to rev up your brain’s processing speeds?

Give it a reboot between study sessions.

Alternating sleep with studying may increase the speed and efficiency in which we learn, suggests a study from the Association for Psychological Science.

A research team led by psychological scientist Stephanie Mazza presented 16 French-Swahili word pairings to 40 French adults assigned to either a “sleep” group or a “wake” group. During two rounds of testing, participants typed French translations to the Swahili words. Incorrect translations were presented in subsequent trials until all pairings were correctly translated.

The sleep group completed their first test in the evening, slept, and tested a second time in the morning, 12 hours later. The wake group first tested in the morning, went about their day, and retested 12 hours later in the evening.

The first round of testing showed no difference between the two groups. Both the sleep and wake group correctly translated word pairings at the same rate and in the same number of trials.

After 12 hours, however, the sleep group performed significantly better. In round two they correctly translated 10 of 16 words in the test’s initial trial, and they learned faster, requiring only three trials to correctly translate all 16 pairings. The wake group correctly identified only 7.5 words during the first trial and averaged six trials to translate all 16 words.

One week later, the sleep group could still identify 15 of the 16 words. The wake group could recall 11 words.

Sleep appeared to transform participants’ memories, Mazza explained in a report published in Psychological Science. “Such transformation allowed subjects to re-encode information faster.”

In addition to learning information more effectively, sleep has many benefits. When you sleep, your body reduces the production of stress hormones, and the immune system shifts into higher gear. Proteins and enzymes cleanse and detoxify cells, repairing damaged cells and tissues. Adequate sleep reduces cravings for empty carbohydrates and less nutritious foods, improving metabolism and weight control.

To get the most from your sleep, get between seven and nine hours every single night, as we recommend in our Sleep Deeply/Wake Refreshed Paraliminal. While the value of sleep is undeniable, many people are getting less and less of it.

If you are thinking to yourself, “I only need five to seven hours of sleep,” try getting eight hours for a couple of weeks. Most people will find tremendous value in the extra sleep, have more energy, and get more from their day.

You probably will not go back to skimping on your sleep.

To help you set the ideal conditions for beneficial sleep, I recommend you listen to the Sleep Deeply/Wake Refreshed Paraliminal. Simply push play, close your eyes, relax, and listen. This closed-eye process activates your “whole mind” with a precise blend of music and words to help you get the most out of every minute.

To learn more about Sleep Deeply/Wake Refreshed and all our other Paraliminal programs, please click here.