(BPT) – The brain never rests. If you’ve shared a room with a sleep-talker or woken from an intense dream, it’s pretty clear the brain is always active, even during sleep.
If we better understand what is happening up there while we rest, perhaps we can direct that activity into something meaningful that improves our lives. Did you know that, for example, sleeping can help you learn a new language? Recent research has shown that while we sleep our brains are solidifying memory, and that has implications for our language skills.
Despite what we’ve seen in science fiction, it turns out that learning in your sleep does not happen by osmosis. You still have to learn the words while you’re awake.
To use an example on how to do this, take the word “tulo.” Before you go to bed tonight, repeat to yourself, “Tulo means sleep.” That’s what it means in the language of Chichewa, which is spoken in the countries of Zambia and Malawi. When you lie down and close your eyes, say it a few more times. “Tulo means sleep.”
What does the brain do while we’re sleeping?
In order to understand how you can use sleep to help you commit the word “tulo” to memory, it’s important to understand something about sleep and brain science.
When you think about it, sleep doesn’t make a lot of sense from an evolutionary standpoint. We hate to lose all that productivity, not to mention that sleep makes animals in the wild vulnerable to predators. We still don’t fully understand why we sleep, but as scientists study sleep in humans and…
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