Can 10 Cent Earplugs Improve Your Learning and Memory?

sonar learningCan Ten-Cent Earplugs Improve Your Learning, Memory & Reading Speed?

NASA’s Astronauts could not use their pens in space so they spent ten million to invent a special ink-flow device. The Russian space cadets had no dinero, and solved the same problem by writing with pencils, which worked like a charm.

Earplugs are not exactly high-tech, but work instantly to eliminate unwanted noise. The first earplugs written about were wax and used by the crew of Odysseus to ward off the Siren’s Song and a shipwreck. How old? 8th Century, B.C.

Who cares?

Have you even been studying in your school library and lost your attention and concentration because some dumbos at the next table were whispering, giggling, and dropping books? Ten Cent earplugs tune them out, and your mind inward.


Students and career executives suffer from noise, movement of people, and constant interruptions. Fact: we are interrupted at work – an average of once every three-minutes. Fifty-percent of the time we interrupt ourselves by responding to emails the telephone, and answering questions.

Our mind get used to being diverted from focused attention and deep concentration.

Distractions break our train of thought, and actually reduce our personal efficiency. Some research concludes habitual distractions cause a drop in our IQ up to 10%. Get this: Every time your mind is diverted from your present task, it takes up to 10 minutes to get back into your original Zone (flow).

It is called Regressions, is habit-forming and dumbs us down.

Soon you become a subconscious procrastinator, and lose up to 25% of your Attention-Span. Paying attention to everything is the same as concentrating on nothing. What is a practical, easy and cheap solution? Maybe earplugs?

Mind Wandering

Are you aware of how often your mind wanders off your target of concentration? Neither was I. The researchers at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, headed by Dr. Michael Kane, concluded college students are distracted and lose their attention span, one-third (33%) of the time they spend in school.

They are thinking off-the-subject at class lectures, while reading, and when studying for exams. Students suffering mind-wandering up to 90 minutes in the morning, and another 90 minutes in the afternoon of a six-hour day. What are they wandering about? Sex is number one, fear of the future, and personal relationships top the bill.

So what?

Distractions lead to chronic stress, which affect our long-term memory, inability to comprehend complex text, and loss of self-esteem. Many complain of a negative state-of-mind, bad mood, and loss of productivity. What about our competence?

Stress and distractions cause your executive competence to drop up to 15%, enough to lose out on your next promotion. Students at college complain of fade-out on exams, anxiety and the agony of Information-Overload.

Stopples a/k/a Earplugs

Earplugs immediately improve your attention span and concentration up to 33%. That is a noticeable change from distracted thinking to being in your Zone focused on learning, remembering, and being creative.

Earplugs have the power to turn your mind inward instead of permitting you to listen and react to random sounds in your environment. Ideas appear to reward those wearing stopples (plugs) and avoid folks who are easily distracted

You have heard that one picture is worth a thousand words; we suggest that one well thought out Idea, is worth a thousand pictures. Implement good ideas.

Secret Revealed

White Noise. When you slip on your plugs you do not get sleepy and disoriented, but move into deep Beta consciousness, between 7-14 cycles per second. Your brain rhythms vibrate to screen out noise, and to trigger (cue) your PFC (Prefrontal Cortex) for analysis, synthesis (combining ideas), and connectedness.

White Noise

Technically White Noise is a frequency produced by electronics. It is a combination of all the tones into one. Wait! White Light takes all the color frequencies (rainbow) and combines them into one. Same idea.

Earplugs close the auditory canal and leave us with our personal Zone of silence. Best of all, there are no side effects from using plugs up to 16 hours daily. Just wash them, remove the wax from your ears, and concentrate.

Buy Them Now

We recommend silicone or foam plugs that you mold to fit your ears. Polyurethane stopples cost a dollar for a pair, and have an unlimited life. The biggest problem is losing them after a good night’s sleep, or a study session.


There are electronic earplugs that produce a calming sound (anti-stress) costing $187.95 called SleepEze. No comment. We recommend disposable plugs that will not make us cry when we lose one. PVC Foam come in a six-pack and cost just $2.95.

Factories buy them in volume from the Earplug Super Store for about 10-25 cents each. They reduce chronic stress from ambient factory noise.

Reading Research

We have tested over one thousand students and executives – half speed reading text wearing plugs, and half unaided. After 21 days of practice, the students using earplugs improved their reading speed an average of 100 words per minute, and added up to 12% in comprehension.

Non-users showed 40 words per minute increase in reading, and no improvement in comprehension. They were distracted by their surroundings.

Close Your Door

Seeing other folks moving around is a visual distraction, one that breaks up your attention and comprehension. Music – Classical to Elevator tunes – cause us to lose our mental focus. Group study works only when everyone agrees to be silent and productive until the end of the session.

Our Mirror Neurons cause us to want to imitate the activities of those we watch. It is a bio-distraction. Learning requires silence and the lack of activity around you. Google: University of Calgary, Dr. Tim Welsh, and Journal of Human Movement Science, 12.2007. Earplugs are a great investment in your personal growth.


“If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein

Would you have a major competitive advantage if you could read-and-remember three (3) books, articles and reports in the time your peers can hardly finish one? Ask us how because knowledge is king. Call us now.

copyright © 2009 H. Bernard Wechsler

Author of Speed Learning for Professionals, published by Barron’s; partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading, graduating two million, including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents.

Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and fortune Magazine for major articles.

Author: H. Bernard Wechsler
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