According to a recent study, a one-hour nap may help improve the memories and cognitive abilities of people over age 65.
The results of the research, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, reveal that the study’s participants that took naps had improved their abilities to think clearly and could remember better than those that did not take naps. The nap in the study was taken in the afternoon.
Participants responded to a set of tests that examined their mental state, including math problems, simple questions and memory games. Those that did not take a nap showed a reduced ability in their mental skills with this test, sometimes producing results that were six times worse than those that did take a nap.
This is one of many studies from over the last few years that have demonstrated the importance of these short periods of sleep during the day, as they allow the brain to rest and neurons to reactivate in order for the brain to function. An explanation is that while napping, the brain eliminates short-term data stored in the memory and creates space for new information.
The trick is to not sleep for more than that time as 90 minutes can lead to deep sleep, making it more difficult to return to your regular activities and fall asleep at night.