HEALTH: Naps Are Good For You!

A new study has produced some good news for older people who enjoy an afternoon nap, after finding that a 1-hour siesta may improve memory and thinking skills.

Researchers suggest that an afternoon nap of around 1 hour may boost cognitive functioning in older adults. Study co-author Junxin Li, Ph.D., of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and team reported their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

As we age, our cognitive functioning declines; we might have problems remembering names, forget where we left our keys, or have trouble learning new information. For some older individuals, the decline in cognitive functioning can be more severe, potentially leading to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Studies have shown that being active, both mentally and physically, can help to keep the mind sharp in older age – but can a good afternoon nap also have a positive effect?

Napping and cognitive function

Past research has suggested that napping can improve cognitive performance for older adults, while other research has indicated that daytime napping can improve memory by five-fold.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, an afternoon nap of around 20-30 minutes is best for boosting alertness and mental performance, without interfering with nighttime sleep.

The new study, however, suggests that an afternoon nap of around 1 hour is ideal for improving cognitive functioning among older people.

 

Read the full story on the Medical News Today website

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