Nap Your Way to Better Memory

February 25, 2008 01:53 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A new study recommends catching some midday shut-eye, as cat napping may aid memory.

30-Second Summary

A mere six-minute nap could have beneficial effects, according to a team of German scientists.

In a study published in New Scientist magazine and covered by the BBC, the scientists claim “ultra-brief” sleep could stimulate memory processing in the brain. In their experiment the scientists asked a group of students to remember a set of words, then gave them an hour-long break before testing.

Some of the students were allowed to sleep for six minutes during that hour, and those students did better on the memory test.

The effects of the midday snooze have been studied by others as well. Earlier this month, The Washington Post published a story on how 45-minute naps aid the memory. Sleep can help “set these declarative memories and make them easier to recall,” according to researchers.

Last year a Harvard School of Public Health study claimed that naps may boost cardiac health. The findings conclude that the benefit of naps is most pronounced in working men who nap for 30 minutes a day, at least three days a week. They have a 67 percent lower chance of dying from cardiac arrest than those who do not nap.

Although findings vary from one study to another, the general consensus is that naps are good for people.

Although the afternoon siesta customary in some European countries has yet to catch on in America, businesses like the New York City-based MetroNaps offer nap solutions to companies who want to improve their employees’ productivity.

Headline Link: ‘Six-minute Nap “May Boost Memory”’

Reaction: The business of sleep

Reference: ‘Rest Assured: The Web Can Help You Sleep Better’

Related Link: Cat naps preferred by whales


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines