Do you have a spouse or a roommate who snores? You are in luck.
New research has found that if a certain sound plays while someone is learning something, and then that same sound plays while the person is sleeping, the person will remember better whatever he/ she was learning.
The experiment itself sounds rather simplistic :
In a study published online Thursday by the journal Science, researchers taught people to move 50 pictures to their correct locations on a computer screen. Each picture was accompanied by a related sound meow for a cat, whirring for a helicopter, for example.
Then, 12 subjects took a nap, during which 25 of the sounds were played along with white noise as they slept. When they awoke, none realized that the sounds had been played or could guess which ones had been used. Yet, almost all remembered more precisely the computer locations of the pictures associated with the 25 sounds that had been played while they slept, doing less well placing the other 25 pictures.
So you’re wondering now – how does this help you? Should you leave the TV on while sleeping? Should you play music CDs all night long? Or should you record background office chatter and play it to yourself through the night?
Those might all be good ideas (or not). Obviously, they all seem to involve electricity and contribute to greenhouse gases. And why go through all that trouble when you have a ready-made noise generator? Yes, you’re right, that’s your snoring spouse/ roomie.
So here’s my idea – simply start reading after your favorite snorer starts noise-generating. After a few hours, when you go to sleep, the noise-generator will still be going strong. But now, the snores are essentially a playback of the sounds you heard while reading, so, according to the research, they should help your brain playback whatever you read about, and improve your memory.
Great idea, you think? Hey, there must be some benefit to listening to all those snores!