Here's an article
the benefit of napping written by
Sylvia Booth Hubbard and published on February 23,
Instead of being viewed as lazy or slackers, workers
who catch 40 winks in the afternoon may be gaining a bit more
respect — or at least a bit more understanding. Researchers from the
University of California, Berkeley, found that napping an hour can
dramatically restore and boost your brain power. Amazingly, they
found a nap can actually make you smarter.
On the other hand, the more hours we spend awake, the
more sluggish our minds become. These findings should give pause to
college students who pull "all nighters" cramming for finals. The
new study found this practice decreases the ability to learn by
nearly 40 percent.
"Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged
wakefullness, but at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond
where you were before you took a nap," Matthew Walker, an assistant
professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and lead investigator, said
in a statement.
In the study, 39 healthy young adults were divided
into two groups — nap and no-nap. Both groups were given rigorous
learning tasks at noon to stress the hippocampus, a region of the
brain that helps store fact-based memories. Results in both groups
At 2 p.m., the first group napped for 90 minutes
while the no-nap group stayed awake. At 6 p.m., both groups were
subjected to a new series of learning exercises. Those who napped
performed markedly better and actually improved their ability to
Walker said researchers believe sleep is needed to
clear the brain's short-term memory storage and make room for new
"It's as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus
is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails,
you're not going to receive any more mail. It's just going to bounce
until you sleep and move it into another folder," Walker said.
In addition to boosting your brain power, one study
showed that napping can reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack by
Use these five tips for an effective, refreshing
• The best naptime is 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. when you
experience a natural dip in energy.
• Get comfortable. If you have a couch or comfy
chair, use them, says Salary.com. Otherwise, stash a yoga mat and
pillow behind your desk.
• Draw the shades and wear a sleep mask to stimulate
melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, advises Body Ecology.
• Your body temperature may fall during sleep, so
cover yourself with a light blanket.
• Set an alarm to make sure you don't oversleep.