Listening to Tapes in your Sleep

My French teacher a few years ago repeated a rumor that I had heard many a time, namely that listening to language tapes or the like in your sleep will help you learn the language. While I doubt very much it will be extrodinarily useful, I do wonder if there is any evidence this works at all, and if there is, in what way?

Thank you!

I did it for morse code. It does work, it is also likely to drive you insane.

Suicide or attempted suicide rates for people learning morse code were five times higher than those of soldiers going through divorce when I was in the service.

I just drank a lot.

Cecil’s take on the subject.

Cecil addresses subliminal tapes, which is not what the OP was asking about, at least as far as I could tell. He is asking about straight-forward language tapes, the kind you can get to listen to in your car, etc.
And, besides the difficulty of going to sleep with someone yammering in your ear, how could it hurt? It sure seems that it might work to some extent, IMO.

I would think that it would be useful, if only to increase your familiarity with the language.

My only concern is that if it did work, would it affect you’re REM sleep since it would be keeping part of you concius mind “awake”.

I listen to regular audio-tapes as I am going to sleep, and I can’t say it disturbs my sleep that much, apart from the fact that I usually wake with a jump about half an hour after I dozed off, most recently I was awoken by Gollum screaming “STUUUPID HOBBITS!” in my ear around 4am.

I have also attempted to learn from tapes while sleeping, but it was to zero use. Granted I was attempting to learn about 800 lines of Virgils Aeneid the day before a verbal exam, so it might not be the most useful example.

Ooh, a triumvirate of ale! There’s a Machiavellian countenance! Tut, tut, Marge, for in the boudois, the gourmand metamorphosizes into the voluptuary!

Hey, it worked for Homer.

When I was in the process of learning how to sing I had some really difficult songs to learn. My vocal coach told me I was “chromatically challenged” and I had the idea that maybe if I played the songs while I slept, the notes would burn themselves into my brain and I’d be able to sing them with ease afterwards. I did try it once or twice but after a few hours of hearing the same song over and over I couldn’t fall asleep so I shut it off. I do believe it works though.

I don’t know about learning a language that way because you really have to listen to the meanings of words and practice pronouncing them and you can’t do that in your sleep.

Good luck though and let us know if you try it how it works for you.

:mad: I wanted to quote Homer!

Maybe I’m the only one to think so, but the Cecil column in the link above is a little spooky. Mommy and I are one? :eek: Good morning, Psycho!

Anyway, based on my experience, I think that it would be just as good to have, for example, French tapes or radio on all day long in the background. I mean, get a good night’s sleep and let the REM decipher what you heard during the day.