chapter  3
21 Pages

Sleep learning

Imagine someone retiring to bed for the night. However, just before they switch out the light they select Polish language lesson one on their audio player, insert their earphones and press play. Throughout the night as they sleep, a gentle voice can be heard in the background pronouncing a variety of Polish words and their English counterparts:

Dzien dobry – Good day Jak sie masz? – How are you? Jestem bardzo dobrze – I am very well

When the sleeper awakes the following day she is now able to recall and utilise a range of new Polish words and phrases. This scenario outlines the idea behind sleep learning: that it is possible for an individual to learn new information while she sleeps, which can subsequently aid her behaviour when awake. Thus, this chapter examines whether information presented to a sleeping person can subsequently aid learning and enhance performance.