"Researchers have long known that sleeping plays an important role in the learning process. While we catch Z’s, our brains are busy organizing and consolidating the information and events we encountered that day. Important stuff gets filed away, while unimportant stuff gets deleted to make room for new learning. Yet scientists didn’t think it was possible to actually learn new things while we sleep. They thought our brains were too focused on the nightly housekeeping. But a new study from the Decoding Sleep Interfaculty Research Cooperation at the University of Bern, Switzerland, has shown that the brain’s channels for learning are also open during sleep."
"When you are awake you learn new things, but when you are asleep you refine them, making it easier to retrieve them and apply them correctly when you need them the most. This is important for how we learn but also for how we might help retain healthy brain functions."
"The idea of learning by osmosis might be some kind of childish dream, but it turns out that exposure to certain cues while we're asleep can actually reinforce memories and enhance recall when we wake up."
"In other words, if you're learning a foreign language, it may help to play recordings of the language while you sleep. If you need to memorize information presented in a classroom lecture, it might also help to record the lecture and play it quietly at night."
"It turns out there actually are a few things you can learn - or at least improve your grasp of - while you snooze. Most of them depend on one thing: sound. Here are some of the skills you may be able to sharpen in your sleep."