It’s a fact: taking a good afternoon nap makes us feel better. It lowers tension, brings energy, and boosts our mood. It helps us look fresh, younger and live longer.
About the study
Researchers stated a hypothesis that a nap that lasts around an hour refreshes our mind, boosts and restores brain power, and makes us smarter.
The study was led by the Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Matthew Walker. He stated: “Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap.”
To prove their hypothesis, Walker and his team gathered 39 volunteers. The participants were divided into two groups: a nap and no-nap.
They were given a task in which they needed to absorb a lot of information, at midday. Then, at 2 pm while the participants in the no-nap group stayed awake, the participants in the nap group went to sleep for about 1.5 hours. At 6 pm, both groups underwent a new set of learning activities.
What did the researchers find out?
Not only the participants who took an afternoon nap performed better than those who didn’t sleep, they also had better results in the exercise which was taken at 6 pm.
As a result of this, napping helps to make space for new information by clearing the brain’s short-term memory.
The Earlier Research
According to Walker, the hippocampus is like an email inbox. If you don’t sleep, it will be full of messages and you won’t be able to receive new information. Therefore, in order to clear it, you need to sleep.
The same team made a research in which they confirmed that working through the night decreases our capacity to memorize new facts.
Napping and creativity are connected
Another research suggests that while getting rest, the left hemisphere of our brain, which is the area associated with numbers, analytic, remains quiet, and the right side which is the area associated with creativity is stimulated.
“The right side of the brain was better integrated”-the assistant professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging, Andrei Medvedev stated.
In the end, we have seen that napping has many benefits. Well, if you find yourself tired by the afternoon and unable to concentrate on the given tasks, then maybe it’s time for you to take some rests and enjoy a good afternoon nap.