The best way to learn anything

Evolution tells us what’s the most efficient way to learn.

We just need to look at one of our oldest skills. Sleep.

On any given day, you are either awake or asleep. Sleep itself has been divided by years of studies into NREM and REM sleep.

NREM, also known as Slow Wave Sleep is where we lose consciousness and touch with our senses.

REM or Rapid Eye Movement is where we dream and where we get a wake-like state experience, minus control over our bodies.

What we should pay attention to, is the function of each of these states and what it has to do with learning:

  • Our wake state can be considered a state or “reception” where we’re open to information and stimuli from the real world.
  • NREM is a state of “reflection” where we store and strengthen raw data in our brain.
  • REM can be considered a state of “integration” where we connect the dots between new and old information and explore novel neural pathways.

Millions of years of evolution literally tell us what’s the most efficient way to learn anything.

Be open to new information and expose yourself to as many different sources as possible. Let all of that simmer and percolate in your mind. Put ideas into practice, mixing and matching what you’ve learned.

Reception, reflection, integration.

(Currently reading “Why we sleep” learning a ton.)