Sleeping for learning
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Rob: Hello, I’m Rob and this is 6 Minute English and I’m joined this week by Finn. Hello Finn.
Finn: Hello Rob.
Rob: This week, we’re discussing sleep. New research has shown that not getting enough sleep – or sleep deprivation – can have a negative effect on our ability to learn. We’re going to talk about that today and explore some sleep-related language.
Finn: So Rob, are you saying the more sleep I get, the cleverer I will be?
Rob: Not exactly – but we could put that to the test now by seeing if you know the answer to this week’s question. This is about Randy Gardner, who holds the world record for the longest period of time without sleep. Do you know how long he stayed awake for?
a) 5 days
b) 8 days
c) 11 days
Finn: Rob, I’m going to go for the ambitious c) 11 days without sleep.
Rob: Well, I’ll let you know the answer at the end of the programme, if you can stay awake that long! Now, let’s talk more about this link between sleep and the ability to learn. Researchers from Boston College in the USA have found the lack of sleep is a significant – so important – factor in lowering the achievement of school pupils. The findings could be relevant to any of us who are trying to learn something.
Finn: That’s true. The most interesting fact is that it is more of a problem in affluent countries – so wealthier countries such as the United States, England, France and Saudi Arabia.
Rob: Students here are more affected by influences from their home life.