When I was younger (ahem) and studying all night, I would rest my head on my open book (should give you a sense of my age) and wish the words would somehow penetrate my brain by osmosis.
Believe it or not, we're getting closer to that possibility:
"In 2011, scientists working in collaboration with Boston University and A.T.R. Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, published a paper on a process called Decoded Neurofeedback, or “DecNef,” which sends signals to the brain through a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, or FMRI, that can alter a person’s brain activity pattern. In time, these scientists believe they could teach people how to play a musical instrument while they sleep, learn a new language or master a sport, all by “uploading” information to the brain."