Alex, ¿sabías que es posible usar el sueño para mejorar tu aprendizaje del español?
(Alex, did you know that it is possible to use sleep to improve your Spanish learning?)
¿Como aprender mientras duermo?
(Like learning while I sleep?)
Algo así. Te explico.
(Something like that. I’ll explain.)
If like Alex, you’re interested in any way that can help you learn Spanish, this video is for you. There’s been several studies about whether you can do stuff to your brain so you can learn or unlearn things while sleeping.
Yo soy Maura de Spring Spanish and I feel like starting with the biggest question: Can you learn Spanish while you sleep? ¡Empecemos!
1. How does sleep impact language learning?
Lo principal es entender que la memoria está dividida en varias secciones.
(The main thing is to understand that memory is divided into several sections.)
Claro, como memoria a corto o a largo plazo.
(Of course, like short-term or long-term memory.)
Tal cual. Una de esas etapas, la última, es de consolidación. Es donde vive el conocimiento que puedes recuperar a largo plazo.
(Exactly. One of those stages, the last one, is consolidation. It is where the knowledge which you can retrieve long-term lives.)
Ahí es donde quiero que viva mi español. Pero, ¿cómo hago?
(That’s where I want my Spanish to live. But, how do I do it?)
Toma una pequeña siesta después de estudiar.
(Take a short nap after studying.)
Learning and memory are hugely linked together.
I assume that this is clear to all of us.
Now, scientists have learned that sleeping after studying can positively impact the ability of the brain to consolidate information so it can be retrieved after. Exactly what you’d like to be able to do with all the chunks we teach you in our videos.
By the way, in case you’re interested, I’ll leave links to back up all of this information right down in the description.
Yo tiendo a usar más “tal cual” que “exacto” (I tend to use “tal cual” rather than “exactly”) but these two expressions are synonyms.
Actually, I’m curious, Paulísima, do you use “tal cual”? I just didn’t know if this was a Venezuelan thing.
This is usually a reply so use it to reaffirm someone, like:
Maura, las bolsas de ropa que están en la entrada son para donar, ¿no?
(Maura, the bags of clothes at the entrance are for donation, right?)
Yo creo que los políticos juegan a convencernos de que somos enemigos unos de otros. Sólo para que no nos fijemos en ellos.
(I believe that politicians play at convincing us that we are enemies of each other. Just so that we don’t notice them.)
Now, go get our free Essential Spanish Chunking kit through the link just below this paragraph! You’ll find the perfect chunks to go over right before you go to bed!
2. Can you really learn Spanish while you sleep?
We’ll do a step-by-step of what you can do later in the video, so make sure to stick around for it.
Lo siguiente que podrías hacer es escuchar la información mientras duermes.
(The next thing you could do is listen to the information while you sleep.)
O sea, ¿pongo un audio para acostarme a dormir?
(Meaning, do I play an audio to go to sleep?)
No exactamente. O sea, podrías, pero lo importante es que escuches la información cuando estés en sueño profundo. En fase REM.
(Not exactly. I mean, you could, but the important thing is that you listen to the information when you are in deep sleep. In REM phase.)
¿Información que ya sé o información nueva también?
(Information I already know or new information too?)
Esa es la cosa.
(That’s the thing.)
Professor Björn Rasch from the University of Freiburg asked himself the same question in a publication. The results of his investigation shows an indication of possibly learning new words while you sleep.
Nonetheless, the effects don’t compare to reinforcing words you already know.
Another interesting study, this time from Professor James McQueen from Radboud Nijmegen University, talks about learning vocabulary with its context. More precisely, his studies prove that learning vocabulary with additional information like images, situations, etc., improves its retention after 24h.
Which supports why it is much more valid for us to teach you new words with their context. The context are the chunks. And the context of the chunks are the situations. Hence our dialogues.
For now, technology still needs to come up with a device that can detect your REM sleep, turn on, expose you to the information and not wake you up in the process. But here’s what you can do in the meantime:
3. Step-by-step guide on how to learn Spanish in your sleep
Remember this will work better with words and chunks you already know.
Here are some steps for you:
- Memoriza vocabulario y/o chunks nuevos cuando estés en estado receptivo y alerta. (Memorize new vocabulary and/or chunks when you are in a receptive and alert state.)
- Repasa este vocabulario justo antes de dormir. (Review this vocabulary just before going to sleep.)
- Duerme tranquila y profundamente. (Sleep peacefully and deeply.)
This will help with the retention and retrieving of this information. To take it to the next level, listen to the information while you sleep. Here are some ideas for this:
- Grábate repitiendo esta información. (Record yourself repeating this information.) Or use a native for this if you’re concerned with the pronunciation. Most phones will have an audio recording option that you can use for this.
- Reproduce el audio mientras duermes. (Play the audio while you sleep.)
Here the problem is you might not be in REM sleep while you’re listening to the information.
Studies suggest that the REM phase occurs 90 minutes after sleep is conceived.
To set up an audio to play at a specific time, you might be better off using an AI bot like Alexa or Google, if they’re available to you. Or, leave the first 90 minutes of your recording silent.
Also, here’s another option: Luca Sadurny is the co-founder of the Mosalingua app.
This app undertook its own investigation regarding learning while sleeping, using of course, their app.
You can use their hands-free option to learn and practice new vocabulary.
Then set up the app to play you that same information at a specific time, meaning, 90 minutes after you fall asleep.
Give it a try!
You never know who you are, maybe you are part of those who can keep it up. When it comes to the practice part, though, we have several videos mainly focused on you practicing and testing yourself. Click the image in the video to go straight to that playlist!