As I understand it, wakeful resting (WR) simply means closing your eyes and doing nothing for some amount of time. Research indicates that WR after a period of study will increase the likelihood that you remember the concepts studied. The article that everyone always links is Wakeful resting and memory retention: a study with healthy older and younger adults. but there are other studies as well.
Please see further discussion and background on WR.
The biggest variation I have seen between these articles is the amount of WR time and study time.
So the question is, which WR time and study time lead to the highest retention of information on average. Here I will simply define retention to be the percentage of correct responses to questions about the material being studied. (I am ignoring for now another variable; the time delay since first studying and the review that would take place. It’s actually really important and I want to know what is the best delay also, but lets keep it simple)
Let’s consider some same data that I just made up. The problem comes down to trying to maximize the final row of the table. That is, we want to study as long as possible with as little wakeful rest as possible while maximizing the retention rate.
In this dumb example, a WR of 5 minutes and study of 15 minutes leads to the best happiness. This is just a heuristic and maybe someone else has a better one.
|(study / rest ) * ret
I am considering conducting a study on myself to try to try and find some answers to this question. It would be a lot of effort but if I ever do it I will post my results.
The research looks very promising but to actually implement this type of routine and see benefits I think it is necessary to consider the questions I have posed.
I imagine this number varies a bit from person to person. At this point I am just wondering what has worked for other people. At this point I am doing 10 WR, 5 S for learning Chinese characters.