An afternoon nap markedly boosts the brain’s learning capacity
If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in her cubicle, don’t roll your eyes. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter. Students who napped (green column) did markedly better in memorizing tests than their no-nap counterparts. (Courtesy of Matthew Walker) Conversely, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. “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,” said Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the lead investigator of these studies. In the recent UC Berkeley sleep study, 39 healthy young adults were divided into two groups — nap and no-nap.
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