Contact Us

To Learn More, Don’t Study Harder — Take a Nap

Mario Tama, Getty Images

While dreams are still largely a mystery, some scientists now believe they may actually help us learn.

Researchers think that dreaming about a task we’ve learned is associated with improved performance in that activity later on. They also think dreaming is an essential part of understanding, organizing and retaining what we’ve already learned.

It seems that as we sleep, our brains extract important data from the information and events we’ve recently encountered, and then integrate that data into the vast store of what we already know — which could be why dreams are often a surreal mix of old memories and new experiences.

All of this activity could have a great impact on learning. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that college students who dreamed about a computer maze task they had learned showed a 10-fold improvement in their ability to navigate the maze compared to participants who did not dream about the task.

Want to harness that kind of sleep-related brain power? Try studying right before bedtime, or take a nap after a study session in the afternoon — both could increase the odds of dreaming about whatever it is you’re trying to learn.


Best of News Talk 940

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for VOA VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive VOA VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.