You may want to rethink your spare time after lunch and use it for rest. A recent study found that a one-hour nap after lunch may turn your brain five years younger. The research involved 3,000 people in China aged over 65. The people who took a one-hour nap in the afternoon received better results in cognitive tests. Researchers are also studying aging and other health conditions in relation to the brain.
The study has been published in the American Geriatric Society journal. The study also found that people who took naps longer or shorter than a one hour period scored lower in the cognitive tests. The afternoon nap used to occupy an important place in many cultures but, due to the change in the working schedule, now it is difficult for people to take naps after lunch. A change in the working schedule is not recommended, since other studies have proved that working during nightshifts has negative impacts on health.
Another result of the study showed that people who took moderate naps scored better than those who did not took naps at all. Sleep plays a vital role for health and the lack of it may cause complications in health. This is why people with sleep disorders should seek help, engage in a healthy lifestyle and try to improve their sleeping conditions.
The study group in China included 30% of the participants who napped regularly. The period of the naps varied from 30 to 90 minutes. The cognitive tests they had to solve included basic math problems, word knowledge, the recognition of patterns and memory tests. Researchers also focused on the sleep patterns of the subjects during night time.
Junxin Li, researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, was the leader of the study. Li declared that people who napped for an hour outperformed those who did not nap at all. They also had better scores that those who napped for less or more than an hour.
Cognitive function is highly associated with napping. The study also found that moderate nappers had better results than non-nappers and extended nappers.
The typical working schedule in the United States does not allow the regular workers to take naps during afternoon. Maybe a Western European model should be followed, where shops close during afternoons and the working people have more rest hours available.
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