You know that a lack of sleep can significantly affect your memory and ability to learn new things. But a new study has shown that we can actually learn new things WHILE we sleep!
How did researchers figure this out? Actually, it was a simple test. The sleeping participants would hear a tone, followed by an odor. Eventually, they sniff when the hear the tone (even if no odor is produced). The researchers could even see the people sniffing, then either breathing deeply (if the smell was good), or cutting their breath short (if the smell was bad).
The next day, the participants continued to either sniff deeply (if they heard the tone associated with the good smell) or cut their breath short (if they heard the tone associated with the bad smell) - even though none of the people remembered anything from the night before. This only happened when the learning took place in non-REM sleep phases.
Here's the study:
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