Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On the Importance of Naps for Everybody


Naps are pretty important to my recovery. I've posted about the effects of not napping before. I get worn down pretty quickly. It turns out that naps are beneficial for everybody's brain, according to a newly released study from the University of Berkeley California.

  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.

  Conversely, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. The results support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter – a common practice at college during midterms and finals –- decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation.

  "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.

"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.

emphasis mine.

So, when do we start Siesta in our culture? Can you imagine that???  Naps... they're quite the luxury and not very productive, are they?  There is a great graphic from the Boston Globe on napping, check it out.

I originally found this on Lifehacker, a source for a lot of useful things, especially if you are technologically inclined.

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