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Will Sleep Learning Turn Out to be a New Trend in the Corporate Industry?

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Will Sleep Learning Turn Out to be a New Trend in the Corporate Industry?

Would you like your employees to acquire the required knowledge and enhance their skillsets with fewer efforts? Would you want this to happen with fewer training hours and lesser training costs? If yes, then this post might be of interest to you.

We have always discussed how ineffective training methods let your learner doze off and restrict them from acquiring the necessary knowledge and enhance their skills. But, have you ever imagined that one can learn even while he is asleep? Yes, you got me right. Researches claim that you can learn while you are still asleep. This might seem unnatural and unbelievable, but sleep specialists claim it to be possible. However, it is debatable that you do not remember anything that happens while you are unconscious, but that does not matter much. Your will have acquired new knowledge the next morning.

This concept has been talked about since a long time and has been adapted in various fictitious literatures. In an episode of the American situation comedy, My Three Sons, Mike connects a phonograph to an automatic timer to play Spanish lessons while he sleeps. The following day, Steve and Bub who end up sleeping in the room were able to speak fluent Spanish.

Today, there are audio recordings and apps that promise you that you can stop smoking, enhance public speaking skills, lose weight, find love, and even unleash your creativity while you are asleep. But, how true is this in real life? Is it really possible? Is there any real evidence or research to prove this?

What researches say?

The 1950’s research by Charles Simon and William Emmons might have been concluded that this concept of sleep learning was impractical and impossible but recent studies report that this can be possible. A 2012 study in the United States stated that members played a melody more accurately, which was earlier played to them during the slow-wave stage of an afternoon nap. This suggests that “information acquired during waking can be reactivated during sleep, promoting memory stabilization.” So, this can be an evidence to the fact that learning can happen subconsciously while you are sleeping.

We encounter with the accidental discovery of sleep learning in Aldous Huxley’s fictitious novel Brave New World, when a Polish boy, Reuben Rabinovitch who falls asleep next to a radio receiver recites the entire English radio lecture when he wakes up. A similar study was conducted by Swiss researchers where members were presented with a few Dutch-to-German word pairs at 10 PM. The same words were presented as audio recording until 2 AM. During this audio recording, half of the members were allowed to sleep. When re-assessed after the members woke up, they found that those who slept remembered more words than those who didn’t.

What can e-learning professionals do to facilitate such a unique learning experience?

The above-mentioned researches show how sleep learning can be made possible. Incorporating this into corporate training could be a new idea. But, how do we do this? The best solution to facilitate such learning experience is through mobile learning. Wondering how a platform that needs learners’ attention can facilitate a learning experience where the learners will never pay any attention?

As we have already seen in the researches, we need to facilitate the learning first in some way before providing it while they sleep. For this, we can create bite-sized mobile learning modules, which the learners can take just before going to bed. In the last screen, provide a link that guides the learner to a mobile app or a voice recording of the same content that has been just taught. This app or recording must be set on a timer so that they start working only after a certain time from taking the module. This would ensure that the learning would be facilitated only when the learner is asleep.

The learner will, however, not remember any of the happenings during the night, but subconsciously he should have gained the necessary knowledge. This can be assessed the next morning with a small quiz. The results would show you how much the learners have gained from such experiences.

Why sleep learning for corporate training?

When an organization plans for training, it will surely try to make it in as less a budget as possible. If such a technique is made available, you would need only bite-sized m-learning modules and a recording or app of the same content instead of text-heavy and never-ending e-learning courses. This can ensure that the training budget remains well within stipulated limits.

When learning is facilitated before and during sleep, the working hours can also increase. This in turn will increase productivity and the return on investment. What else can an organization ask for?

Such theories might be debatable, but cannot be neglected as many researches state them to be possible. Don’t you think it’s time to be a bit innovative about the mode of trainings?

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