March 11, 2011

LIKE WE NEED ANY ENCOURAGEMENT:

Taking Naps Could Boost Your Brainpower (Marianne English, Mar 9, 2011, Discovery)

Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley studied 44 college-aged participants at two different times of day -- once at noon and again at 6 p.m. Half the group was allowed to take a nap from 2 p.m. to 3:40 p.m., while the rest stayed awake throughout the day.

At noon and 6 p.m., researchers measured how both groups performed in facial memory tests, finger tapping memory tests and an alertness test.

The "Nap" group performed significantly better at learning tasks when tested later in the day in comparison to subjects who did not take a lengthy nap.

The team also measured brain activity while subjects napped using an electroencephalogram. They found that success in learning correlated with the amount of stage-2 non rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, the stage preceding deep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2011 7:19 AM
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