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One Hour Nap After Lunch Good for Brain Health: Research
Sleep is important and new research suggests that one hour nap after lunch can turn your brain nearly five years younger. Many studies in the past have supported the idea of short nap in afternoon. The current study has evaluated the impact of afternoon nap on brain and other health indicators. The research involved 3,000 adults in China with age over 65. The study team found that people who took one hour nap in afternoon regularly had much better results in cognitive tests. Scientists are still trying to understand aging and various health conditions related to brain health.
The study has been published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study team added that people who had longer or shorter sleep than one hour, had lower score in cognitive tests. In many cultures, afternoon nap has been popular for centuries. However, due to strict working schedule, many people don’t have the option to nap in afternoon. And, many studies conducted in the past have talked about negative health impact of working during night shift.
The study also found that people who napped moderately, had better results compared to people who didn’t nap. Sleep is important for our mental as well as overall health. People suffering from sleep disorders should seek medical help or should engage in healthy lifestyle (including exercise or yoga) to improve their sleep as sleep disorders can lead to many other complicated health conditions.
In the study group in China, 60 percent of participants napped regularly after lunch. The range of nap varied from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. The cognitive tests included basic math problems, recalling words, memory tests and copying of drawings. The study team also checked sleep patterns of study participants during night.
The study was led by Junxin Li of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Li added, “The people who napped for an hour after lunch performed better on the brain function tests than those who didn't nap at all. Those who slept for an hour also outperformed the people who slept for less than an hour or more than an hour.”
Dr. Li further informed, “Cognitive function was significantly associated with napping. Comparisons showed that moderate nappers had better overall cognition than non-nappers or extended nappers.”
A report published by French Tribune informed, “Sleep during afternoon in many European countries. In many regions across Europe, shops close during afternoon for people to have rest. The work culture in Europe is different from the United States and offers more hours of rest to working staff.”