Napping can Dramatically Increase Learning, Memory, Awareness, and More

Now this might be an interesting topic and an article for most of you guys out there, because we all love napping now and then in a day. To shake that stress off of us, or maybe just because we want to. So that is exactly why today I am going to write an article on the benefits of napping, yeah man you heard it right, sorry read it right, benefits of napping. Who thought there are benefits of even napping? So yeah keep reading and you will feel better about napping.

What is Napping?

A nap is a short period of sleep, typically taken during daytime hours as an adjunct to the usual nocturnal sleep period. Naps are most often taken as a response to drowsiness during waking hours. A nap is a form of biphasic or polyphasic sleep, where the latter terms also include longer periods of sleep in addition to one single period. Cultural attitudes toward napping during the work day vary. In many Western cultures, children and the elderly are expected to nap during the day and are provided with designated periods and locations to do so. In these same cultures, most working adults are not expected to sleep during the day and napping on the job is widely considered unacceptable.[citation needed] Other cultures (especially those in hot climates) serve their largest meals at midday, with allowance for a nap period (siesta) afterwards before returning to work.

Benefits

Napping is physiologically and psychologically beneficial. Napping for 20 minutes can help refresh the mind, improve overall alertness, boost mood and increase productivity. Napping may benefit the heart. In a six-year study of Greek adults, researchers found that men who took naps at least three times a week had a 37 percent lower risk of heart-related death.

Scientists have been investigating the benefits of napping for years: the 30-minute nap, as well as sleep durations of 1–2 hours. Performance across a wide range of cognitive processes has been tested. Studies demonstrate that naps are as good as a night of sleep for some types of memory tasks. A NASA study led by David F. Dinges, professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, found that naps can improve certain memory functions and that long naps are more effective than short ones. In that NASA study, volunteers spent several days living on one of 18 different sleep schedules, all in a laboratory setting. To measure the effectiveness of the naps, tests probing memory, alertness, response time, and other cognitive skills were used.

The National Institute of Mental Health funded a team of doctors, led by Alan Hobson, Robert Stickgold, and colleagues at Harvard University for a study which showed that a midday nap reverses information overload. Reporting in Nature Neuroscience, Sara Mednick, Stickgold and colleagues also demonstrated that, in some cases, a 1-hour nap could even boost performance to an individual’s top levels. The NIMH team wrote: “The bottom line is: we should stop feeling guilty about taking that ‘power nap’ at work.”

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