Learning a new language in your sleep

Here is a great question, can you learn in your sleep ? Of course you can, but not in the way we normally do. You see our conscious mind sleeps, just as we do. However, our subconscious mind, our inner mind, never sleeps. That is why you always should be careful saying things when people are sleeping, they will remember what you say. Maybe not consciously, but they will.

In the 1940′s, the US military was in a dilemma. Because of the internment of most Japanese-Americans, they had virtually nobody who spoke Japanese in the armed forces.  Without getting into the morality of that, it left them in a dilemma. Japanese, like Chinese and Korean are tonal languages, much different from English and European languages, where it’s not what you say, but how you say it that determines the meaning. tonal languages cannot be learned from books.

So, as an experiment, the US tried “sleep learning” on a group of recruits. To do this they played records or language lessons through barracks after the troops went to sleep each night. They also had one day of awake language instruction per week. The results were that withing 4 months they has virtually all fluent Japanese speakers. Back then, it would have taken several years of courses to accomplish that.

Dave Elman mentions that in his famous book, Hypnotherapy. He was supposed to interview the director of the program after the war and apparently they decided it was confidential and cancelled the interview.

So, I figured, lets give it a try myself. I’ve got some Plimseur CD’s and I’m going to see if I can learn Mandarin Chinese in my sleep, just as they did in WWII. Now, this is not going to be easy, Mandarin Chinese is considered one of the most difficult languages for a non-asian to learn, but I’m game. Also I have a good evaluation point set up as my wife is a native Mandarin speaker and has seen me attempt to learn Mandarin for 10 years with little or no success.

So, I’m going to use some of the Self Hypnosis techniques I teach along with the US Army “Sleep Learning” techniques from WWII and see how we do. If all goes according to plan, I should be fluent by May 2012.

However, the biggest problem is that I love to leave the radio on and listen to Coast2CoatAM every night, what a great show.

So, stay tuned, I’m going to do my work (subconsciously) each night with my MP3 player and then do a few hours of conscious listening to the same material each week. What I think that does is create the link between the subconscious learning and subconscious learning.

I’ll update you monthly and see if this valuable knowledge from WWII can help all of us.

Always remember, our subconscious mind is 88% of us, it’s our automatic, our habitual mind. Our conscious, our logical mind is only 12% of us. When our superior, logical, conscious mind wants to make a change, and can’t, that is where hypnosis helps greatly.

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