How to Strengthen Your Memory

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn a piece of music or another language while we slept? If you want to know how to strengthen your memory, the key appears to be in running a recording of what you’ve just learned while you sleep. Results from some research at Northwestern University suggest that memories can be reactivated during sleep and storage of them can be enhanced.

How to Strengthen Your Memory

how to strengthen your memory: set a recording of what you’ve just learned to run while you’re sleeping

If you were hoping that you could learn something less painfully by having a recording going in your sleep, well, it doesn’t quite work that way.

…our research shows that memory is strengthened for something you’ve already learned,” Reber said. “Rather than learning something new in your sleep, we’re talking about enhancing an existing memory by re-activating information recently acquired.”

The researchers, he said, are now thinking about how their findings could apply to many other types of learning.

“If you were learning how to speak in a foreign language during the day, for example, and then tried to reactivate those memories during sleep, perhaps you might enhance your learning.”

Paller said he hopes the study will help them learn more about the basic brain mechanisms that transpire during sleep to help preserve memory storage.

If you’d like to read more about how the study was done, go here.

If you’re a musician and you want to know how to strengthen your memory, it might be interesting to give this technique a try.

When my daughter was 4 years old and learning to play the piano, we had her music pieces playing several hours a day (while we were awake). I was also a beginner and it helped me learn the pieces, so much so, that when I sat down at the piano, I was amazed at how easily the right notes came to me. It would have been an interesting experiment to try the same memory technique while asleep.

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