Hypnopaedia or sleep learning: Overview on methods and results





Sleep-learning; Memory; Language; Problem-solving; Creativity.


Although sleep seems to be an inactive state of mind and body, it is closely connected to memory consolidation and cognitive enhancement. Since memory and learning are strongly related, a new field of research develops, which is called after the term of hypnopaedia or sleep-learning. Knowledge about the functions of sleep, along with techniques that are applied on/after a learning task, contributes to the scientific data about brain boosting. Both Slow Wave Sleep and dreaming, affect cognitive functions. During sleeping, learning gets accelerated, the accuracy in data processing rises, unsolved problems get solved, and entrepreneurial ideas come into light. In the following review of researches about sleep and learning, the most important results are presented. 

Author Biographies

Sevasti Kapsi, N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"

Sevasti Kapsi, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5214-9304, Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications - Net Media Lab & Mind-Brain R&D, Agia Paraskevi, 153 10, Athens, Greece, e-mail: sevastikapsi@gmail.com

Spyridoula Katsantonis, N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"

 Spyridoula Katsantonis, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1911-3198,Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications - Net Media Lab & Mind-Brain R&D, Agia Paraskevi, 153 10, Athens, Greece, e-mail: skatsantoni@gmail.com


Andrillon, T., Pressnitzer, D., Léger, D., & Kouider, S. (2017). Formation and suppression of acoustic memories during human sleep. Nature Communications, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00071-z

Ashton, J. E., Cairney, S. A., & Gaskell, M. G. (2017). No effect of targeted memory reactivation during slow-wave sleep on emotional recognition memory. Journal of Sleep Research, 27(1), 129–137. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12542

Batterink, Laura J., & Paller, K. A. (2017). Sleep-based memory processing facilitates grammatical generalization: Evidence from targeted memory reactivation. Brain and Language, 167, 83–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2015.09.003

Batterink, Laura J., Oudiette, D., Reber, P. J., & Paller, K. A. (2014). Sleep facilitates learning a new linguistic rule. Neuropsychologia, 65, 169–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.10.024

Batterink, Laura J., Westerberg, C., & Paller, K. A. (2017). Vocabulary learning benefits from REM after slow-wave sleep. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 144, 102–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2017.07.001

Batterink, L. J., Creery, J. D., & Paller, K. A. (2016). Phase of Spontaneous Slow Oscillations during Sleep Influences Memory-Related Processing of Auditory Cues. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(4), 1401–1409. https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.3175-15.2016

Beijamini, F., Pereira, S. I. R., Cini, F. A., & Louzada, F. M. (2014). After Being Challenged by a Video Game Problem, Sleep Increases the Chance to Solve It. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e84342. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084342

Born, J., Rasch, B., & Gais, S. (2006). Sleep to Remember. The Neuroscientist, 12(5), 410–424. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858406292647

Budzynski, T. H. (2011). Twilight Learning Revisited1. Biofeedback, 39(4), 155–166. https://doi.org/10.5298/1081-5937-39.4.08

Burke, T. M., Scheer, F. A. J. L., Ronda, J. M., Czeisler, C. A., & Wright, K. P. (2015). Sleep inertia, sleep homeostatic and circadian influences on higher-order cognitive functions. Journal of Sleep Research, 24(4), 364–371. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12291

Cai, D. J., Mednick, S. A., Harrison, E. M., Kanady, J. C., & Mednick, S. C. (2009). REM, not incubation, improves creativity by priming associative networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(25), 10130–10134. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0900271106

Cairney, S. A., Sobczak, J. M., Lindsay, S., & Gaskell, M. G. (2017). Mechanisms of Memory Retrieval in Slow-Wave Sleep. Sleep, 40(9). https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsx114

Carskadon, M. A., & Dement, W. C. (2011). Monitoring and staging human sleep. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth, & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine, 5th edition, (p. pp 16-26). Elsevier Saunders.

Chen, Z., & Wilson, M. A. (2017). Deciphering Neural Codes of Memory during Sleep. Trends in Neurosciences, 40(5), 260–275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2017.03.005

Creery, J. D., Oudiette, D., Antony, J. W., & Paller, K. A. (2015). Targeted Memory Reactivation during Sleep Depends on Prior Learning. Sleep, 38(5), 755–763. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.4670

Diekelmann, S., & Born, J. (2010). The memory function of sleep. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(2), 114–126. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2762

Drago, V., Foster, P. S., Heilman, K. M., Aricò, D., Williamson, J., Montagna, P., & Ferri, R. (2011). Cyclic alternating pattern in sleep and its relationship to creativity. Sleep Medicine, 12(4), 361–366. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2010.11.009

Ellenbogen, J. M., Hulbert, J. C., Jiang, Y., & Stickgold, R. (2009). The Sleeping Brain’s Influence on Verbal Memory: Boosting Resistance to Interference. PLoS ONE, 4(1), e4117. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004117

Fenn, K. M., Gallo, D. A., Margoliash, D., Roediger, H. L., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2009). Reduced false memory after sleep. Learning & Memory, 16(9), 509–513. https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.1500808

FICCA, G. (2004). What in sleep is for memory. Sleep Medicine, 5(3), 225–230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2004.01.018

Hu, P., Stylos-Allan, M., & Walker, M. P. (2006). Sleep Facilitates Consolidation of Emotional Declarative Memory. Psychological Science, 17(10), 891–898. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01799.x

Landmann, N., Kuhn, M., Maier, J.-G., Feige, B., Spiegelhalder, K., Riemann, D., & Nissen, C. (2016). Sleep Strengthens but does Not Reorganize Memory Traces in a Verbal Creativity Task. Sleep, 39(3), 705–713. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.5556

Marguilho, R., Jesus, S., Viseu, J., Domingues, R., Brandolim N., Becker, N., Matavelli, R., Quevedo, R., Buela-Casal, G.(2015). Sleep and creativity: a literature review. Advanced Research in Health, Education and Social Sciences: Towards a better practice. Sibiu, Romania.10.5682/9786062803797

Marshall, L. (2004). Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation during Sleep Improves Declarative Memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 24(44), 9985–9992. https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.2725-04.2004

Monaghan, P., Sio, U. N., Lau, S. W., Woo, H. K., Linkenauger, S. A., & Ormerod, T. C. (2015). Sleep promotes analogical transfer in problem solving. Cognition, 143, 25–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2015.06.005

Ngo, H.-V. V., Martinetz, T., Born, J., & Mölle, M. (2013). Auditory Closed-Loop Stimulation of the Sleep Slow Oscillation Enhances Memory. Neuron, 78(3), 545–553. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2013.03.006

Oghenero, O.-A. (2019). A Visuo-Spatial Understanding of Hypnopaedia. International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology, 4(1). https://ijisrt.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IJISRT19JA205.pdf

Oudiette, D., & Paller, K. A. (2013). Upgrading the sleeping brain with targeted memory reactivation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17(3), 142–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2013.01.006

Peigneux, P., Laureys, S., Delbeuck, X., & Maquet, P. (2001). Sleeping brain, learning brain. The role of sleep for memory systems. Neuroreport, 12(18), A111–A124. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001756-200112210-00001

Perogamvros, L., Dang-Vu, T. T., Desseilles, M., & Schwartz, S. (2013). Sleep and dreaming are for important matters. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(474). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00474

Ritter, S. M., Strick, M., Bos, M. W., Van Baaren, R. B., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2012). Good morning creativity: task reactivation during sleep enhances beneficial effect of sleep on creative performance. Journal of Sleep Research, 21(6), 643–647. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2012.01006.x

Schönauer, M., Brodt, S., Pöhlchen, D., Breßmer, A., Danek, A. H., & Gais, S. (2018). Sleep Does Not Promote Solving Classical Insight Problems and Magic Tricks. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12(72). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00072

Schreiner, T., & Rasch, B. (2017). The beneficial role of memory reactivation for language learning during sleep: A review. Brain and Language, 167, 94–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2016.02.005

Schreiner, T., Lehmann, M., & Rasch, B. (2015). Auditory feedback blocks memory benefits of cueing during sleep. Nature Communications, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9729

Shanahan, L. K., & Gottfried, J. A. (2014). Olfactory Insights into Sleep-Dependent Learning and Memory. Progress in Brain Research, 208, 309–343. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-444-63350-7.00012-7

Shimizu, R. E., Connolly, P. M., Cellini, N., Armstrong, D. M., Hernandez, L. T., Estrada, R., Aguilar, M., Weisend, M. P., Mednick, S. C., & Simons, S. B. (2018). Closed-Loop Targeted Memory Reactivation during Sleep Improves Spatial Navigation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12(28). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00028

Sio, U. N., Monaghan, P., & Ormerod, T. (2013). Sleep on it, but only if it is difficult: effects of sleep on problem solving. Memory & Cognition, 41(2), 159–166. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-012-0256-7

Stickgold, R., & Walker, M. P. (2005). Sleep and Memory: The Ongoing Debate. Sleep, 28(10), 1225–1227. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/28.10.1225

Tononi, G., & Cirelli, C. (2003). Sleep and synaptic homeostasis: a hypothesis. Brain Research Bulletin, 62(2), 143–150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.09.004

Ulrich, D. (2016). Sleep Spindles as Facilitators of Memory Formation and Learning. Neural Plasticity, 2016, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/1796715

Van Der Werf, Y. D., Altena, E., Schoonheim, M. M., Sanz-Arigita, E. J., Vis, J. C., De Rijke, W., & Van Someren, E. J. W. (2009). Sleep benefits subsequent hippocampal functioning. Nature Neuroscience, 12(2), 122–123. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2253

van Dongen, E. V., Takashima, A., Barth, M., Zapp, J., Schad, L. R., Paller, K. A., & Fernandez, G. (2012). Memory stabilization with targeted reactivation during human slow-wave sleep. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(26), 10575–10580. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1201072109

van Rijn, E., Lucignoli, C., Izura, C., & Blagrove, M. T. (2016). Sleep-dependent memory consolidation is related to perceived value of learned material. Journal of Sleep Research, 26(3), 302–308. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12457

Wagner, U., Gais, S., Haider, H., Verleger, R., & Born, J. (2004). Sleep inspires insight. Nature, 427(6972), 352–355. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02223

Walker, M. P. (2008). Cognitive consequences of sleep and sleep loss. Sleep Medicine, 9(1), S29–S34. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1389-9457(08)70014-5

Walker, M. P., & Stickgold, R. (2006). Sleep, Memory, and Plasticity. Annual Review of Psychology, 57(1), 139–166. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070307

Walker, M. P., Liston, C., Hobson, J. A., & Stickgold, R. (2002). Cognitive flexibility across the sleep–wake cycle: REM-sleep enhancement of anagram problem solving. Cognitive Brain Research, 14(3), 317–324. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0926-6410(02)00134-9

Wamsley, E. J., Tucker, M., Payne, J. D., Benavides, J. A., & Stickgold, R. (2010). Dreaming of a Learning Task Is Associated with Enhanced Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation. Current Biology, 20(9), 850–855. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2010.03.027

Williams, S. E., & Horst, J. S. (2014). Goodnight book: sleep consolidation improves word learning via storybooks. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(184). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00184




How to Cite

KAPSI, S.; KATSANTONIS, S. .; DRIGAS, A. Hypnopaedia or sleep learning: Overview on methods and results. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 10, n. 7, p. e2410714721, 2021. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v10i7.14721. Disponível em: https://rsdjournal.org/index.php/rsd/article/view/14721. Acesso em: 22 mar. 2023.



Review Article