What are the effects of sleep listening on language skills and aren't there any negative effects of it on overall physiological health? Are there any studies or your personal experiences proving that you can improve your language skills just by listening while you are sleeping?

1 Answer 1


There is a Wikipedia page about Sleep-learning (hypnopædia, or hypnopedia) referring to two studies indicating no significant learning effects during sleeping:

Since the electroencephalography studies by Charles W. Simon and William H. Emmons in 1956, learning by sleep has not been taken seriously. The researchers concluded that learning during sleep was "impractical and probably impossible". They reported that stimulus material presented during sleep was not recalled later when the subject awoke unless alpha wave activity occurred at the same time the stimulus material was given. Since alpha activity during sleep indicates the subject is about to awake, the researchers felt that any learning occurred in a waking state.

In 2012, research from the Weizmann Institute of Science indicated that classical conditioning can occur during sleep by using odor recognition. "During sleep, humans can strengthen previously acquired memories, but whether they can acquire entirely new information remains unknown. .."

P.S. It reminded me of an episode of Dexter: "The Big Cheese"; where he tries to learn French by playing a tape during his sleep, but it gets stuck at "Omelette du fromage".

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    +1 for Dexter's lab. :) I believe it's omelette au fromage (I am not a French speaker), but that's neither here nor there.
    – erip
    Jun 6, 2016 at 14:55
  • @erip: In the series they actually use "du fromage", but in some other places I see omelette au fromage.
    – agold
    Jun 6, 2016 at 15:22
  • According to this answer you ar right, and "omelette du fromage" is actually wrong.
    – agold
    Jun 9, 2016 at 15:28
  • So this won't work?!? Aw, shucks.
    – Hatchet
    Jun 13, 2016 at 21:32
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    @Hatchet Well, it's rather anticlimactic; couldn't they have made the "buy" link go to a picture of Duo rolling on the floor laughing, and link to the home page from there? :-P
    – kristan
    Aug 9, 2016 at 20:49

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