When the effect of your morning coffee has worn off and you’re feeling sleepy in the afternoon, a study discovered that you should give in to that feeling. This will help your mind running smoothly and properly throughout the day. While the idea of an afternoon siesta isn’t completely new, the latest study showed that adults should take a nap for about an hour to boost their mental function.
The findings of the study were published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society. There were almost 3,000 participants from China who were surveyed regarding their habits when it comes to napping. Data were presented about their cognitive function as well.
According to the study, those who slept for an hour or less after lunch showed that they possessed better cognition. The result is in contrast with those who didn’t take naps as well as those who slept for more than 90 minutes or less than 30 minutes. The study suggests that napping for a moderate amount of time can optimize cognition in adults, especially the older ones.
Napping and Brain Health
The study mentioned above isn’t the first one to prove that afternoon napping has positive effects on our mental health and even our well-being. Previous research showed that napping can help improve cognitive performance. Additionally, here are proven benefits of afternoon naps:
1. Memory Boost
One study indicated that those who regularly napped have better performance when it comes to cognitive tests of vigilance and memory.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
According to a study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, it was discovered that taking naps in the afternoon can reduce coronary mortality up to 37%. This could be due to lower cardiovascular stress that’s usually linked to daytime sleep.
3. Calmer Emotions
A study performed by the University of Berkeley showed that napping for an hour can keep you calm. The participants in this particular study were shown images where faces expressed fear, happiness, and anger. These images were shown again at six in the evening. The researchers found the participants were more upset after seeing the faces at 6PM. But they weren’t that affected when they nap after lunchtime.
Napping in the afternoon is more beneficial in older adults who are at least 65 years old since this is the age range when most of us start having problems with our memory. But even younger people can benefit from naps to take advantage of the positive effects of napping in our brain function.