Some memorization strategies are so easy, you could do them in your sleep. What strategy is that? Sleeping: you need to sleep to get the most out of your study. To memorize your lines in Shakespeare, don’t stay up late.
A lot of recent research is pointing to the fact that memories are encoded in the brain during sleep. What you learned during the day will be forgotten more easily if you don’t get a good night’s sleep within 30 hours. That amount of sleep is different person to person, but it’s probably around 8 hours for most.
Here is an excellent article about sleep and memory:
Hit the Books or Hit the Sack*?
If, like me, you find repeating your lines a little hypnotic and boring, and tends to make you sleepy, don’t fight it! Use it!
- Always study your lines before bedtime, after changing into bedclothes and brushing your teeth. When you get sleepy, just crawl into bed.
- For those who like an afternoon nap, set an alarm for 1 hour. Study your lines for 20 minutes, or until you get really tired. Then nap for 40 minutes.
When you get enough sleep, not only will you find your memory improved, but you’ll experience a greater connection and creativity with your lines because your brain is incorporating them more deeply.
Don’t oversleep. Not only do you waste your time and get less done, but you’ll actually feel less energetic. But never feel guilty for getting your optimal amount of sleep. 6-8 hours at night, plus 1-2 hours in the afternoon may just be the thing that makes you a genius, and have the best memory in your cast.