5 Tips That Significantly Increase Your Learning, Long-Term Memory & Your Ability To Acquire Skills

Lukas Schwekendiek
6 min readFeb 21, 2022
Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

When I was still in high school I used to take a lot of AP classes with my friends, who were all smarter than me and did way more to study than I did.

During this time I picked up some great strategies to learn more effectively, although most of it came down to how much time I spent studying!

Having been a proud procrastinator at that point in my life, I really didn’t want to spend any time studying.

I had to get creative to get by.

Later, as I was studying Psychology in Germany, we took many Seminars on learning, studying and how to cope with learning disabilities.

All of these experiences have lead me to learn a lot about learning as a whole.

I have summarized my top 5 tips I learned below:

1. Use Your Sleep. During this one seminar in college (I forget the title) we were told that, while as psychologists we have studied sleep for a long time, we still did not know much about sleep.

However, something that we did find out is that our minds use our deeper phases of sleep (The dream phases or REM [Rapid Eye Movement] phases) to put information from our short-term memory into our long-term memory.

Knowing this, we can actually use our sleep to our advantage.

If we study or learn something and then sleep right after that, we increase the chances of our mind transferring this new information from our short-term to our long-term memory.

The only requirement is that we have to reach a stage of deep enough sleep (REM sleep which usually happens between every 60–90 minutes).

This means, if you take a nap in the middle of the day that is around 90 minutes long, right after you studied, or study at the end of the day before you go to sleep, you will increase the chance to transfer some of what you learned.

Just make sure not to put any activity between the learning and sleeping.

2. Start Early. Do Little. I know you want to cram, I know you do not want to start studying weeks or even months in advance and I know you want to spend as little…

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Lukas Schwekendiek

Life Coach, Speaker, Writer. Published on TIME, Inc & Huffington Post.