Listening while sleeping

What do you all think about listening to podcasts or music in the target language while you sleep? The point of this would be more to catch the overall flow and rhythm of the language rather than picking up on specific words and phrases. I’ve only found a couple of articles on this subject but they talked about topics unrelated to language learning.

I’ve been listening to two or three podcasts throughout the night most nights for the past month or so. It seems to be working pretty well (I feel like I can catch way more words in Japanese than before both in the media and on the street). I want to hear other people’s opinions on this subject.

We can learn new languages while we sleep


Most people here will tell you it is a waste of time, does nothing, disturbs your sleep etc.

My own view, 95% of my learning comes in the hour or two before sleep and the hour or two just after I wake up. There are studies that show this is the optimal time to absorb a new language*. But for me it just so happens to be the time that best fits with my life commitments.

I’ll often fall asleep listening, and then wake up briefly, pull ear plugs out and sleep. If I wake during the night, I’ll often listen for a half hour or so until I fall back asleep again. But I don’t think much happens while you are actually asleep. It is only when you are actually awake - especially in the just waking up/just going to sleep brain state - that there are benefits.

*see more here- Tuning In On The Twilight Zone - Language Forum @ LingQ


I also quite like the idea that rotating one’s plate makes the food taste better.

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““a pronounced frontal negativity in event-related potentials, a higher frequency of frontal slow waves as well as a cueing-related increase in right frontal and left parietal oscillatory theta power””

Makes sense.

I agree with iaing and I do the same thing. I fall asleep listening and will listen if I wake up during the night.

I do it mostly because it is simply pleasant to me. Didn’t seem to get much out of it over time.

When I first started to understand German, I would listen to stuff after going to bed but before sleeping. I could never fall asleep with the headphones in and the audio playing. It’s not the same as listening when sleeping, but it is at least some extra listening time. I don’t know if listening while sleeping is helpful. It is certainly plausible, but I doubt it helps much.

I tried it… one language technique that did not definitely work for ME. If it works for you, great…

I stopped reading at “a team of Swiss psychologists has found.”

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What a load