Introduction, and reasons

THE IMPACT OF SLEEP ON LEARNINGPeople learn better if they learn smaller bits of information over a period of days than if they learn a large amount all at once. This is because periods of sleep between sessions of learning will help people retain what they learn. Sleep has at least two separate effects on learning. First, sleep unifies memories, which protects the memories against later interference or loss. Second, sleep helps to recover lost memories. Brain activity during sleep promotes higher–level learning, such as the ability to learn language.
Now listen to part of a lecture in a psychology class.
We have new evidence that sleep improves our ability to learn language. Researchers have found that sleep improves the ability of students to retain knowledge about computer speech—even when the students forget part of what they’ve learned.
The researchers tested college students’ understanding of a series of common words produced by a computer that made the words difficult to understand. They first measured the students’ ability to recognize the words. After that, they trained the students to recognize the words and then tested them again to measure the effectiveness of the training.
One group of students was trained in the morning and tested twelve hours later, at night. During that 12–hour period, the students had lost much of their learning. The students were then allowed a night’s sleep, and were retested the next morning. When they were tested again in the morning, their scores had improved significantly from the night before.
The researchers were amazed by the loss of learning the students experienced during the day and then recovered after sleeping. The students forgot what they learned during the day because they listened to other speech or thought about other things. The results of the study are fairly clear: a good night’s sleep is good for learning. Even if information is forgotten, sleep helps restore a memory.
Explain the impact of sleep on learning and how the example given by the professor supports this idea.