News Stories

Can You Learn While You Sleep?

We reported before on why staying up all night to study DOES NOT work. But studying in the evening DOES work because new research shows that our brains learn more effectively in the evening.

You may think that the idea of a being either morning person or an evening person is nonsense, but Australian researcher Martin Sale has found that the time of day influences your brain?s ability to learn?and the human brain learns more effectively in the evening. And by identifying at what point in the day the brain is best able to operate, rehabilitation therapy can be targeted to that time, when recovery is maximized.

Sale says, "Our research has several future applications. If the brains of stroke patients can be artificially stimulated to improve learning, they may be able to recover better and faster."

Does staying up late make you yawn? If so, be careful not to study in a library filled with other students, because yawning is contagious. In the August 16 edition of the Independent, Steve Connor describes a yawn this way: "It starts with a tingling, itch-like sensation at the back of the mouth, develops into a deep intake of breath, followed by an equally resonant exhalation?often accompanied by a satisfying groan. To the medical profession it is a 'brainstem-mediated bodily response.' To anyone else it's a yawn."

He goes on to report that only humans, chimps and possibly some species of monkey suffer from "contagious yawning."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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