Siesta To Improve Memory

1/31/2017 3:39:37 PM
written By : Team India Se Print

An hour-long nap in the afternoon may improve memory and thinking skills of older people. 

This was found in a new study by Junxin Li, of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and team. They report their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

As we age, we might have problems remembering names, forget where we left our keys, or have trouble learning new information. Some older people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

The new study suggests an afternoon nap for about an hour can improve cognitive functioning among older adults – help them think and remember better.

Li and colleagues came to their findings by analysing the data of 2,974 Chinese adults aged 65 and older.

Those surveyed were asked how long they napped each day after lunch and classified into four groups -- non-nappers, short nappers (who napped less than 30 minutes), moderate nappers (30-90 minutes), and extended nappers (more than 90 minutes).

The team reports that around 57.7 per cent of the participants reported napping after lunch, with the average nap lasting for around an hour.

The moderate nappers did better than the rest in cognitive tests.

On average, reductions in the mental abilities of non-nappers, short nappers, and extended nappers were four to six times greater than those of moderate nappers.

The team notes non-nappers, short-nappers and extended nappers experienced a decline in cognitive function that is comparable to a five-year increase in age.

The researchers stress that their study is observational, so they cannot prove that afternoon naps directly improve cognitive functioning among older adults.

Still, they believe that their results warrant further investigation.

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