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We've probably all done this at some point in our lives it's the night before a big exam and you haven't started studying yet you'll just have to cram as much information as possible into your brain and one night and hope you remember it tomorrow wouldn't it be nice if you could just go to sleep have a recording of everything you need to know playing in the background and wake up ready for the test unfortunately for those of us who are chronic procrastinators that doesn't work ,you can't learn new information while you sleep but it turns out that you can boost your recall of what you studied while you were awake the idea that.



You can learn totally new information while you sleep has been debunked for a long time way back in 1955 researchers showed pretty conclusively that it doesn't work earlier studies had suggested that people could learn new things just by hearing them in their sleep but there were problems with the methods used in those studies so the team wanted to look
into it more closely using an EEG, which measures brain activity to monitor how
deeply asleep the subjects were they found that people were only able to remember the information played to them if they heard it when they were in the lighter stages of sleep.

The really really light stages so light in fact that the participants were actually mostly awake 62 years later that study's conclusions still stand there's no good evidence that you can
learn totally new information in your sleep but scientists have found that there might be a way to boost part of the learning process that happens during
sleep.

The researchers concluded that just like in the studies on Oh Dirk use the sounds cued the subjects brains to reactivate the memories associated with them that strengthened those memories so they were better at recalling them later and again like with odor cues other studies have also found that sound cues can boost your recall for example in a 2014 study that involves 68 subjects a group of researchers found that playing sound cues while people were asleep help them learn a new language they had people learn 120 new words and their translations then played some of those new words back to them while they slept the team found that people were able to remember about 10 percent more of the cued words than the words they hadn't heard while they were asleep but in a follow-up study published the next year the same group of researchers found that if they played the new word and their translations the memory boost went away.

So it wasn't hearing the
information while they slept that helped they remember it it was the sound they associated with the memory when they heard the word and its translation it became more than a simple sound cue and the second word interfered with the memory consolidation process so the next time you're cramming for a test you might want to try connecting the new information with certain sounds or smells then letting yourself hear or smell those things again when you go to sleep you still might not do as well asyou would have if you've just studiedproperly but hacking your memory could help you get a few more questions right.


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