Take a Power Nap for easy, quick, surprisingly powerful natural cognitive brain benefits
Relaxation Therapy (including Power Naps) offers this natural brain benefit
Authored by Department of Veteran Affairs
Scientists have found a short snooze during the day [a power nap…] may not only counteract fatigue from inadequate sleep at night, but also deliver brain benefits such as improved memory, heightened alertness, reduced levels of stress hormones, greater energy, and sharper mental functioning.*
A study compared a group of volunteers who learned a computer game followed by an afternoon nap to another group who learned the game but did not nap. In tests of the volunteers’ computer skills conducted later in the day, the nap takers had 50 percent greater mastery of the game than the non-nappers. While experts advise against naps longer than 90 minutes or naps taken within three hours of bedtime, dozing in the afternoon between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. when circadian rhythms naturally make you feel sleepy shouldn’t interfere with your night’s rest.
Research suggests a catnap may deliver the following brain benefits:
Leaves people feeling refreshed and increases mental acuity, improves memory, and heightens energy and alertness.
Boosts memory consolidation, allowing the brain to transfer information from short-term to long-term memory storage. After some feelings of grogginess upon awakening, lengthier naps are associated with enhanced mental acuity that lasts slightly longer than benefits associated with shorter naps.
Allows the sleeper to experience light, moderate, and slow-wave sleep, as well as rapid-eye-movement sleep, which is associated with dreaming. In addition to benefits associated with a 30 to 60 minute nap, a 90 minute nap appears to increase creativity, emotional memory, and procedural memory, the often-automatic ability to perform actions involved in basic skills, such as riding a bike