Getting a good night’s sleep is one of those things that everyone knows they should be doing, but most people do not due to “lack of time.” If you want to learn Japanese fast and efficiently, you need a proper amount of sleep. I often see people study Japanese with incredible pace, and then only get a 3-5 hours of a sleep a night.
I’m sure you’ve heard been told the importance of sleep your entire life. Sleep is the elixir potion for your brain. If you never have read much on the topic, let me tell you, the brain is freaking awesome. Read up a little bit about it to understand it’s vast power. Why are you going to take away the main thing that the brain needs to perform to its potential?
Getting enough sleep has a very powerful, two-fold effect:
1. It gives you more energy/motivation to study
“I’m too tired to study.”
“I don’t have the energy to study now.”
“This studying is boring.”
“I can’t focus on this.”
What do you think causes this? Sleep will improve both the length of time you can study Japanese as well as how much you get out of each study session.
2. It amplifies what you study
Sleep not only improves memory, but it builds lasting neural connections in your brain that increase your ability to tap into your Japanese. Think of it as a video game macro, where you use a program that automatically levels up your character when you are away from the computer. Sleeping does the same thing for your Japanese. You don’t have to do anything except sleep. Your brain automatically does all the work of processing all the Japanese you learned that day and making sure you have full access to it. Wouldn’t you like your brain to power level you while you are asleep?
Typical Rebuttals: Most people don’t get that much sleep. I don’t need that much sleep. I’ve done fine in my life this far without getting that much sleep. Don’t tell me how to run my life.
Most people do a lot of things that are inefficient: Paper flash cards. Learning the sentence “これはぺんです (This is a pen).” Romaji. Bad textbooks. Bad classes. Why should you also be doing inefficient things?
Maybe you have gone this far without much sleep, but do you or do you not want to learn Japanese at a faster rate?
And how much sleep should you get?
I don’t think I need to answer this as you’ve probably heard this before. Most current studies say around 7-9 hours.
Now go to sleep.
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