The Sleep Sandwich: Lets learn words while we sleep.

I understand that our education system can be a little tricky to comprehend. One idiosyncrasy it preserves is the use of memory. This neat little habit had its genesis from the patriarchal society that was insistent on mugging data up and chanting it at will. This method, though successful, now only serves as an anachronism. The second root to the genesis of rote learning is in the application of knowledge without being dependent on the text. In the status quo, our mobile phones have given us access to banks of data at a fingers touch eliminating the need for rote learning and rather creating space for the growth of innovation and understanding.

To add to the issue, our cell phones have tied us to our rooms way before the hon. Prime Minister has. So, knowing that there needs to be a change is not going to help us. Walking through the corridors of VIT I saw a wallspeak that said

"If you do an experiment the same way a 100 times, you are going to get the same result a 100 times".

Just picking our books and writing a line 10 times might not help us but what might is a small technique I call the sleep sandwich. The human mind forms memories in three stages: Encoding, Consolidation and Retrieval. Encoding is gathering data. The data gathered is then consolidated, mined and separated according to category. Much like youtube, your mind too has small icons that say Action, drama, romance in it. Retrieval is where these memories are recalled by you - the user. Now, the shorter the time between encoding and consolidation the better are the chances for you to remember things. Wondering why? Well think about it this way, let us say that i give you two shopping lists of two items each. Potato, Cheese, Tomato, Bread. The moment I say this your mind immediately reads it as Potato Tomato, Bread Cheese, right? That's because you are actively engaging your mind to reach the consolidation segment of thought and memory (source).Now lets say we apply this to learning words.


We need to first choose when we need to let our brain encode the data and immediately consolidate it. The best method to consolidate data is your sleep. Sleep makes ongoing data encoding low and hence helps in faster consolidation. Basically if you sleep, you wont know anything new, there is no visual way to attain new data. So the last thing you saw is what you will be thinking about.



Step1 :So right before going to sleep, take a look at 3 words and their meanings. ( I will give you people a list of three words so that you can try it at the end of the blog).


Step 2:Now read it in your mind three times slowly. Don't worry no one is going to snatch your bed away from you.


Done?


Good !


Now what ?


Sleep !!!!!


Wait a minute, here's what you do when you wake up. As soon as you wake up take a look at those three words and repeat them in your mind for three times. Within days you will notice that learning words is not only fun but it is also easy.


Now here comes the time for the math, an average competitive exam asks us to know about 1000 words. Let us say we do 3 words a day for 365 days. By simple math, 365 x 3= 1095 words. So let's all get into those nice cozy pyjamas and start learning some words. Word List 1:


Word: Anomaly

Meaning:Something that is unusual or unexpected

Example: The student’s poor performance on the latest test was an anomaly since she had previously earned excellent grades.


Word:Equivocal

Meaning:Not easily understood or explained

Example:Politicians have been known to provide equivocal answers to reporters’ questions.


Word:Lucid

Meaning:Very clear and easy to understand

Example:The lecture was lucid and straightforward, allowing the students to fully grasp the concepts presented.


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