Researchers at University of Pennsylvania find in a study that taking afternoon naps can help improve one's thinking abilities and memory skills. It helps the brain perform as though it is five times younger.
In some cultures, taking daily siestas has been a habit. It is an afternoon nap that is made more appealing if taken under the coconut shade in laidback, tropical countries. But in fast-paced, highly-competitive societies, it seems like they may need it more.
The scientists studied 3,000 elderly Chinese people. They checked the mental abilities of those who claimed to have gotten frequent naps.
These elderly people were given recall tasks and math problems. That also includes letting them remember shapes and draw them.
The results showed that those who took naps after lunch did better in the test. Sixty percent of the participants took naps after lunch. The average duration of the naps is 63 minutes.
The optimal length of the nap to get the best result is an hour. More than or less than that duration diminishes the good effect by six times.
In the study they stated that, "This study suggests that absence of napping and too much napping are associated with poorer cognition, but naps of a moderate duration are associated with better cognition and may be an important part of optimizing cognition in elderly adults.”
So the next time you feel like hitting the sleeping lounge at work after lunch, don't hesitate. Your boss will thank you for it - or not.
The study is published in Journal of the American Geriatric Society
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