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Songbirds learn to sing in their sleep

By on March 13, 2015
Picture courtesy of panuruangjan and

During our hypnosis trainings here is New York, we often use a closing trance called ‘Songbirds’. The Songbirds trance revolves around the fact that songbirds learn to sing in the sleep, while they dream. This fact is woven into an extended metaphor that leads from scientific research on how songbirds learn to sing, through to the actual dreams of songbirds, and into the students’ own dreams. The purpose of the Songbirds trance is to extend the day’s learning into the students’ sleep, where they can begin to integrate these learnings.

So I was excited to see the research below that shows that human babies also learn to sing while they sleep. And not just to sing, it turns out that human babies begin to abstract their experiences as they sleep and dream, turning those experiences into human knowledge about the world.

And you can be sure that this process does not end in infancy. You too have experiences each and every day, and although you may not be consciously tracking everything, in fact your conscious awareness maybe tracking only the very narrowest portion of your total experience, nevertheless your unconscious mind is paying attention to everything else. So you can rest assured that your unconscious is integrating these experiences into your knowledge, and will continue this process of integration while you sleep and dream.

After all, living is learning!

Infants create new knowledge while sleeping — ScienceDaily

There is no rest for a baby’s brain — not even in sleep. The infant brain thus forms general categories during sleep, converting experience into knowledge. The researchers also showed that the formation of categories is closely related to a typical rhythmic activity of the sleeping brain called sleep spindles: Infants with high sleep spindle activity are particularly good at generalizing their experiences and developing new knowledge while sleeping. Infants create new knowledge while sleeping — ScienceDaily

Picture courtesy of panuruangjan and

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