The next study skill is sleep. Yes, sleep. It has been relatively well established that you need sleep after learning to kind of hit “save” on what you are learning in the deeper stages of sleep. But, recently science is pointing to the fact that we need sleep before learning to prepare our brains. Without enough sleep, it is harder to absorb new memories. Matthew Walker and his team did an interesting experiment in their sleep lab where they tested the value of the classic college all-nighter. They separated participants into the “sleep” group and the “sleep deprivation” group. The “sleep group” got a full eight hours of sleep and the sleep deprivation group were forced to stay awake all night. They then tested them to see if they could learn a list of new facts, tracked brain activity and tested how effective their learning was. In the “sleep deprivation” group, they could not find any significant signal from their hippocampus (their “information inbox” in the brain as it were). Due to this, and perhaps other sleep deprivation factors, the “sleep deprivation” group saw a 40% drop in their ability to learn new facts. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good learning.