Could Napping Be The Secret To A Better Memory?

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Woo hoo! Even more reason to get your snooze on [Photo: Giphy]

Good news nap fans, it turns out there’s yet another benefit to taking a quick day-time snooze. Yep as well as giving you a pep-up to get through the rest of the afternoon, naps can be totally brilliant for the old memory too.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) led by Sara Mednick, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside, found that the benefits of sleep can be reaped not just from your night-time sleep, but from a good day-time nap too.

Study participants took a test to measure their creativity, which had hidden clues about a test latter that day. Some of the participants were made to stay awake, while the larger majority were given the opportunity to nap. Later that day, they all took a new test, and surprise surprise, the nap group performed far better.

But the good news doesn’t stop there, not only did the nap group do better on the questions that they had been given clues to before, they did better on the questions they had no warning of, as well.

If ever there was a reason to take a day time disco nap? [Photo: unsplash.com via Pexels]

So, what made the nappers perform so much better on memory and creativity tests?

According to Sara Mednick, the nap group performed 40 per cent better because of the increased rapid eye movement time they got thanks to the shut eye.

“Sleep helps transform short-term memories into long-term memories by helping make stronger connections between these new experiences and our old memories, that allows the new experiences to be integrated with our general knowledge and understanding of the world,” she explained.

And researchers also believe the reason the nap group performed better than the awake group has something to do with their automatic nervous system (ANS), which control unconscious bodily activities like breathing and heartbeat. While scientists have long known that an active ANS system helps give memory a boost during waking hours, Mednick’s research indicates that it’s also pretty active when you sleep too (even if that’s just a daytime nap), which can have a positive impact on memory.

If anyone needs us, we’ll be under our desk catching some zzzs

See you in an hour!

Do you feel better after a nap? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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