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Study: Afternoon nap may boost your working memory

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 01-02-2021
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Study: Afternoon nap may boost your working memory
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Taking a regular afternoon nap can keep your brain sharp as a new study suggests that afternoon napping is linked to better mental agility. The researchers, including Wei Li from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, suggests that afternoon nap seems to be associated with better locational awareness, verbal fluency and working memory. For the study, published in the journal General Psychiatry, the researchers involved 2,214 ostensibly healthy people aged at least 60 and residents of several large cities around China.

In all, 1,534 took a regular afternoon nap, while 680 did not. All participants underwent a series of health checks and cognitive assessments, including the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) to check for dementia. The average length of night time sleep was around 6.5 hours in both groups. Afternoon naps were defined as periods of at least five consecutive minutes of sleep, but no more than 2 hours, and taken after lunch.

Participants were asked how often they napped during the week - this ranged from once a week to every day. The dementia screening tests included 30 items that measured several aspects of cognitive ability, and higher function, including visuospatial skills, working memory, attention span, problem-solving, locational awareness and verbal fluency. The MMSE cognitive performance scores were significantly higher among the nappers than they were among those who did not nap.

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