Sleep Disorders

28 August 2012

You can learn while you sleep

A study has shown that eople can learn new information while they sleep, and this can unconsciously affect their behaviour when they're awake.


People may be able to learn while they sleep, according to a new study. Israeli researchers played tones followed by certain odours to people who were sleeping. The participants started sniffing when they heard the tones alone - even when there was no odour present - both during sleep and when they were awake.

The results show that people can learn new information while they sleep, and this can unconsciously affect their behaviour when they're awake, said the team at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The study was publishedin the journal Nature Neuroscience.

How the study was done

Researcher Anat Arzi plans to continue investigating brain processing in altered states such as sleep and coma.

"Now that we know that some kind of sleep learning is possible we want to find where the limits lie -- what information can be learned during sleep and what information cannot," Arzi said in an institute news release.

Read more:
All about sleep

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke offers an overview of sleep.

(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules