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Dec 05, 2016 11:35 AM EST

Learning While You Sleep: How You Can Be An Expert With Your Eyes Closed

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Do you know that during your hours of shut-eye, you can actually learn new skills and be an expert at something? This was an idea was once thought to be very unlikely but research show that you can actually acquire new skills as you doze. You don't just enjoy sleeping as an indulgence, it could also be the perfect time for learning these following skills.

A new language

According to a study conducted universities of Zurich and Fribourg in 2014, a person can improve his understanding of a new language while asleep. The German-speaking volunteers were made to listen again to the Dutch words they had learnt as they slept. Another group were made to listen while they were awake and those who had been asleep remembered the new words better compared to the group who had been awake.

Playing an instrument

Learning an instrument usually takes months and years before a person can become an expert but research suggest that it could be learned in your sleep. The researchers from Northwestern University in 2012 have shown that a complex skill can be developed while a person is asleep, but it should be something that has already been practiced.

Paul Reber, co-author of the study, said: "Our research shows that memory is strengthened for something you've already learned."

"Rather than learning something new in your sleep, we're talking about enhancing an existing memory by re-activating information recently acquired."

Quit Smoking

If you have a difficult time quitting smoking, this one is for you. Based on the study of the researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science, people can actually wean off smoking in their sleep. In their experiment, the participants were able to reduce their habit of smoking by 30% by means of smell training.

Dr. Arzi said "Our sense of smell may be an entryway to our sleeping brain that may, in the future, help us to change addictive or harmful behavior."

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