Following our study on learning during sleep, we are excited to reveal the results we obtained. It is possible to learn a language during sleep? In September 2016, some of our users tested a new feature we introduced in the latest version of the MosaLingua app: “sleep mode” makes it possible to listen to repeated words and phrases during the light phase of sleep. Check out what we found!
Infographic: The Results Summed up
Read the article below for the details of our findings, or check out this infographic with the main results of the study:
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Video: The Results of Our Sleep Study in 72 Seconds
We made a quick and fun little video to present the surprising findings of our research. Check it out right here or on our YouTube channel:
Learning a Language During Sleep: Improvement of Memorization Performances by More Than 40%
Lead during the month of September, the study’s goal was to test whether activities carried out during sleep could facilitate language learning. Our results confirm the discoveries published by Northwestern University (USA) in 2012 and the University of Freiburg (Switzerland) in 2015: being exposed to a word or phrase during sleep helps you remember it more easily.
67% of participants in the MosaLingua study were able to improve their performance of memorizing vocabulary in a foreign language by being exposed to it during the first phase of sleep. Moreover, half of these people showed an improvement of more than 40%.
However, this much improvement was observed when memorizing words and phrases which participants had been exposed to beforehand.
In contrast, the study showed that it is not possible to learn an unknown word or phrase during sleep. Only 28% of participants showed any positive results; this leads us to the conclusion that it is only possible to reactivate prior knowledge during sleep.
The Results in Details
These results are confirmed for different age ranges, but we found that 80% of 18- to 30-year-olds improved their performance after reviewing words/phrases they had been already exposed to.
For beginners (A1) and upper beginners (A2) the positive effect of the revision of words/sentences already known is even greater: 75% of participants experienced an improvement of more than 40% of their performance.
63% of participants with an intermediate level improved their performance even for learning new words and phrases.
Gender did not have a strong influence on the results of the study. 75% of men improved their memorization, compared to 60% of women.
How The Study “Learning a Language During Sleep” Was Conducted
The experience was conducted over the span of 2 weeks: 136 people tested the new feature of the MosaLingua app, which allows you to listen to words and phrases repeatedly during the light phase of sleep. It is during this phase that our brain is most sensitive to external stimulation.
Every other night, participants were exposed to words they were already trying to memorize, and on the other nights, to words they had never seen or heard. The performance obtained the day following the nocturnal learning session was then compared to the results of the day before.
The founders of MosaLingua explain: “The results of our study confirm the discoveries of the university studies which inspired us to test this. In our opinion, nothing can replace actively learning a language (using the MOSALearning® method): memorizing new words and phrases, and being attentive plays a big role. But the results of this test lead us to conclude that, for many people, reviewing words and phrases that were learned during previous active learning sessions during sleep can have a positive effect. This is thus a new way of learning to be looked into more depth as it can be complementary to active learning.”
Continuing The Study…
The MosaLingua team will continue to study anonymous data using this feature of our app in order to pursue its mission statement since the creation of the company: to test the most efficient ways of learning languages in order to integrate them all in one comprehensive method.
The Main Sources of Our Study:
- Humans can learn new information during sleep, Nature Neuroscience (2012)
- Upgrading the sleeping brain with targeted memory reactivation, Trends in Cognitive Sciences (2013)
- Cued memory reactivation during sleep influences skill learning, Nature Neuroscience (2012)
- Odor cues during slow wave sleep prompt declarative memory consolidation, Science (2007)
- Strengthening individual memories by reactivating them during sleep, Science, 20 (2009)
- Boosting Vocabulary Learning by Verbal Cueing During Sleep, Cerebral Cortex, (2014)
- The sleep-memory connection and all the ways we can learn in our sleep, Medical Daily (2015)
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I really want to learn a language, when I sleep! 🙂