Have you ever been thinking how to learn a language in your sleep? Wouldn’t it be great to master a new language without spending a minute of your time awake on studying it? New words would just sink into your head night by night. Little by little you would also catch a correct grammar and start thinking in a new language. Today I am going to share how did it work for me and what other language experts are saying about the subject.
Forbes: “It Is Possible to Learn a New Language while Sleeping!”
An article on Forbes stated that you really can improve your language skills while sleeping. There was a Swiss study that divided German people into two groups. They were showed German-Dutch language pairs and students tried to memorize them. The other part of the group went to sleep while the other group was kept awake.
In the room were the other group was sleeping was playing an audio which repeated some of the word pairs that they had just studied and some new ones. Then researchers woke up this group and tested both groups how many words they recalled. The results clearly showed that the group that had heard audio playback during their sleep, were able to recall more words.
Does that prove that you can learn a new language while sleeping? Not in my opinion. There may be many reasons why they recalled more words. Here are some of them that I figured out:
1.The group that was sleeping had probably more energy. If you are tired, your brain doesn’t work as fast as when you have full energy. If you are well-rested you will more likely answer questions, more accurately than after an exhausting work day, for example.
2.The “sleeping group” just happened have more experience. They didn’t tell how they chose students for these two groups. What if on the other group consisted of people who had much more experience of language learning than the other?
3.The “sleeping group” studied better. Some students concentrate better and achieve the same results with less time. What if the sleeping group concentrated better than the people in the other group. Then it has nothing to do with their sleep.
My Own Experiments – Learning French and Spanish while Sleeping
Two years ago I was studying French and Spanish very intensively. I spent some time every day and I progressed very fast. Then I thought, “Why wouldn’t I save my time and learn French while I am sleeping.” My friend at the university said that it worked well for her so I decided to try it myself.
I searched for a French audio on Youtube and put the headphones before going to sleep. I continued it for some nights but I didn’t recognize any difference with my French skills. What has happened if I would have continued it longer like 1 month? I don’t know for sure but I guess that nothing.
World’s most famous language guru Benny Lewis says that passive listening doesn’t help if you don’t concentrate on what you hear in the audio. He has tried tens of different ways to learn languages but he doesn’t recommend passive listening. I recommend listening while you are doing something else (riding a bike, driving a car, cooking, etc.) because it has worked very well for me.
Brothers from Babbel who speak more than 10 languages don’t recommend language learning while sleeping either. I believe them and Benny Lewis on this thing. I always say that it’s wise to learn from those who have already achieved something that you would like to achieve.
If you find a real language guru that would recommend language learning while sleeping, I could think about changing my mind. Let me know in the comments below if you know some.
Is It Just Marketers’ Trick?
Do you know what marketers and salespersons love to sell? Easy solutions. Let me give you a few examples:
Make $3,700/month online by working 2 hours a week.
Lose 20 kilos in 4 months by using only 5 minutes of your time.
Learn a new language without using a minute of your time.
Does this sound somehow familiar? I like to use this language sometimes to raise my reader’s curiosity but I always tell how the things really go. If you want to achieve anything worthwhile in life, you need to work.
Many times people don’t feel like working so they are just looking for quick solutions. Playing lotto, trying a new magic diet, buying a “learn-a-language-while-you-sleep”-course and so on. The problem with this kind of solutions is that they don’t bring you solid results.
I know that it’s possible to learn a new language in 3 months but it doesn’t happen without any efforts. I had a little failure with my German learning because I thought that I would learn it automatically when I am living in Austria. I realized that I will not learn German if I don’t actively use time for studying it. Whether is reading the Bible or talking with a friend, I need to dive into the language to learn it.
Conclusion – How to Learn a Language in Your Sleep?
I believe that “learn-a-language-while-you-sleep” methods are not legitimate. They are just marketers’ trick who are trying to make more money because of people’s neglect of work.
Listening to an audio when you are sleeping can actually affect negatively to your language learning. The quality of your sleep will probably not be so good. If you wake up during the night, you can easily start thinking about the audio and it will be more difficult to fall asleep again.
I recommend to sleep your nights well without audios or social media so you will have lots of energy for a new day. Then language learning will be also easier.
I would love to hear from you:
Have you ever tried to learn a language while sleeping? How did it work and what kind of experiences did you have? Do you like audio-based language programs in general?
Let me know in the comments below! 🙂